The Man in the Mirror

When you look in a mirror, do you like what you see? Are you happy? Or, do you wish you were different? Are there certain things that you want to change? There comes a time when you have to take a good, long look at yourself, stop lying, assess what you have, and figure out what you want. Some people call this a “‘Come to Jesus’ moment.” My moment is here.

It came to my attention that I haven’t been forthcoming and honest about myself and what I want to do with my writing and this blog to my audience. It’s nice that I get thumbs up and comments, that my Twitter followers respond to my tweets, and I get likes on Facebook when I post. The feedback is nice and positive, but I know real life is not all roses and sunshine. There are people who do not understand what or why I write. There will be cynics that will slash anything and everything I do.

I experienced such a moment where someone close to me questioned my last post, a short story I wrote about what happened after a wedding took place. The person didn’t understand what the story was about. I had to explain the plot and why I wrote it. It then became a question of why I write and who I am. At first, I felt hurt and betrayed. I felt like shit. I felt like this person who was supposed to be friend stabbed me in the heart, twisted the knife, and left me to bleed out. But I pulled out said proverbial knife, and took some time to think about the conversation we had. It still stings, but I understood what the person was saying. I wasn’t being truthful in my writing. I wasn’t being truthful to myself. This person was the only one to call me out on it.

So, I am writing this post to show my audience my reflection, to show what I see in myself, and to be completely honest with myself and to those who follow me. Here goes.

I am an African-American male who loves writing. I took Creative Writing courses in college and graduated with a Creative Writing degree, but haven’t consistently wrote in years. A year ago, I made the decision to truly pursue this career. But I was unaware that the game has evolved. I need classes to catch up and evolve myself as a writer. I don’t have a group or person outside of Twitter or Facebook to look at my work and give me an honest critique. I don’t have a mentor to guide me through the writing process. I have no ideas in writing a novel or craft a really good short story. I have no experience in marketing a book, finding an agent, or whatever else is needed. I feel lost in this writing world, and need people to steer me in the right direction, or at least lend me a compass. But I want to become a better writer, and just call myself a “writer” just because I post something on a blog or write something that will never see the light of day. I want to write because I have a passion for it, and I want others to experience what I feel in my heart.

And while I’m on the subject of being real, here are some other things I want to share. This is hard, but I want people to know the real me. For starters, I have bipolar disorder, Type I. I was diagnosed with the condition in 2005. I tried different methods and medications, but found a combination that works. I see a therapist once a month, a consistent one in over two years. Second, I work a full-time job at a national retail chain selling cell phones, TVs, video games, and other electronics. I like my job, and I’m writing stories based on those experiences. Third, I like playing video games in my spare time. I know, I should be writing, but I enjoy times of controlling other peoples’ fate, as it is. Fourth, I am a husband and a father to two wonderful kids. I don’t always enjoy being around them, especially when they’re screaming at the top of their lungs. Outside of that, I love them. Fifth, I am a Christian, though I really haven’t been putting it into practice. I don’t read and pray as often as I should. It’s not a way of life, but I am working on it. And I think what’s important is that I’m working on the things that matter, like being a better father, being a better husband, not letting my diagnosis dictate who I am, finding things that make me reasonably happy.

Well, this is me. Good side, bad side. We all have both. I feel like I unloaded weights off my shoulder and dumped a lot in front of my audience. Whether this post will be received with praise or with venom is not up to me. I did what I set to accomplish. I hope that my audience will appreciate what I’ve done. If not, so be it.

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

3 thoughts on “The Man in the Mirror”

  1. Self-awareness is a very difficult process. For one thing, it’s never over. You evolve, your writing evolves, everything changes you. For good or bad. Congratulations on being honest with yourself and with your readers.

    If you’re looking for ways to get honest, impartial feedback on your fiction writing, there are several critique forums on-line and most of them are free. Some of them require you to critique others’ work first in order to earn points that let you post your own work. Some don’t have that stipulation and you can post whatever you want whenever you want. They all work best if you give as much as you get.

    A ton of great information about query letters, publishing and all the facets of writing today can be found on Agent Query Connect. They’re a very large, generous group of writers at various stages in their careers and they’ve helped me in more ways than I can count.

    Best of luck in your writing endeavors. I really enjoy your blog.

    Like

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