As a middle-aged writer and performer of what many would consider only middling success, I often wonder what keeps me going. So do a lot of other folks, I’m certain.
It’s clearly not been about landing a book deal with a New York publisher. Or booking gigs at the biggest Twin Cities venues. I’ve never really harbored typical ambitions.
Suggesting I’ve always been happy just following my muse will confuse people who think I’m never happy, but it’s a true statement. I’m happiest when I’m finding something new in the work I’m doing. Process often interests me more than finished product.
Realizing this goes a long way toward explaining my middling artistic achievements.
All of that said, I’ve had some pretty unique opportunities to show off my limited talents. I’m old enough that I’ve published in the pages of print journals and slick magazines, as well as in the digital pages of online lit sites. I’ve also had writing appear in public art projects and on public radio. I wrote and read poems at Saint Paul Saints home games during the 2015 season. I wrote and read a poem as part of 2014’s Minneapolis Mayoral inauguration.
I do a lot of readings for a guy without a full-length book to show for more than 25 years of writing and publishing in venues large and small.
Back when I performed comedy, I won an short spot opening for Louie Anderson one New Year’s Eve and earned magazine coverage for wearing a bear suit to share my jokes with baffled audiences.
I’ve produced a podcast and hosted a comedic museum tour.
Sometimes writing seems like the most pointless thing I could be doing with my life. Sometimes I think that’s exactly why I keep at it. How else would I experience the world?