Today is my 29th Birthday.
First of all, thanks for all of the birthday texts, emails, and facebook posts--I absolutely appreciate all of the well-wishes!
(Speaking of which, thanks a lot, Dairy Queen. As if the shame I feel after downing one french silk pie blizzard isn't enough! What kind of a birthday present is that? "Well, we'll give you a free one, but only if we can sell you one anyway, and we know you're such a miserable fat idiot that you can't possibly resist!" God I hate them. Bastards. Starbucks is much better, by the way--free drink, no muss, no fuss. Good stuff.)
As I've said for nearly a decade now, any birthday over twenty-one just isn't worth a big celebration. It's just another check mark on a calendar, another signpost that signals one more day gone by that I'll never get to live again. You ask me what I'll be tearing up tonight, and I respond "manuscript pages."
But even that would be a lie, since I finished the hard-copy edit of the manuscript today. I still have to type all of the changes into the word document, but it's another step closer to achieving my goal, and publishing the first of what is hopefully many books to come.
And yet, as I sit at my desk and reflect a bit, it really is pretty crazy where my life is now compared with even a year ago. One year ago today, I was in Baltimore attending my friends' (Steph and Evan's) wedding, on my way back from Australia, and wondering what exactly I would do with my life. I had so many possibilities, so many different areas to pursue that it was all a bit overwhelming--I didn't know where to start. Sure, I had maybe thirty pages written on two different novels, as well as a couple of spec chapters of a non-fiction book, but my head was abuzz with plenty of business ideas that I wanted to get off the ground, places to go, and people to see.
To end up here, one short year later, is absolutely amazing. My work ethic when it comes to writing has improved immeasurably by covering the Rams for insideSTL. I've met countless new people and friends that have made my life that much richer and more focused on what truly matters.
I may not have "made it" yet, nor am I likely ever to reach the dizzying heights of success enjoyed by a Steven King or John Grisham. But that won't keep me from trying to be as successful as they are, from striving to tell stories in a similarly entertaining manner, and continuing to writing columns that are hopefully both informative and entertaining.
All I can say to my readers here, over at insideSTL, and even on facebook and twitter (who would've thought I'd be typing those words one year ago?) is thanks for your support, and I'll do my best to finish up a thoughtful, entertaining novel that is the first step in what I hope to be an exciting new career.
And, hey, if it's not, then all I can do is work harder and do better the next time.
Thanks again everyone!
D.J. Gelner covers the Rams beat for insideSTL.com, and is an aspiring author. Follow him on twitter (@djgelner) or facebook (here). E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also listen to his podcast (Bottle and Cans) here.