Oh snap! I missed my slice of American Pie

buddy holly

February 3 came and went, but I forgot. I forgot how important this day was in history. I forgot how it changed the world for all of us.

For weeks a friend and I debated the need to follow your passion in order to find career success. Passion-smashin’ I told him. I’ve been at this journalism thing so long I’m not sure what my passion is anymore.

Call it cynicism. Call it maturity. Call it the byproduct of suffering through two media-related layoffs, but I thought I had lost my light. The fire in the belly that had raged in my 20s and 30s was glowing rather dim.

But over the next few weeks, I kept getting blog entries in my email that said, follow your passion and the money will follow. The more they came, the more I started to listen. Somebody was telling me something.

But just what is my passion, I kept asking myself? In your working lifetime, it’s easy to just let the days stack on top of each other in a sort of mindless bliss. And then, an epiphany — my work as a blogger had reignited a passion inside of me. In a weird kind of metamorphosis my renewed emphasis on writing and editing had led me to blogging, and I love it.

Am I a professional blogger? Well, I’ve made 9 cents from Google on my Blogger account, but I haven’t cashed that in yet. But if the definition of being a pro is getting paid, then yes, I’m a professional blogger.

I keep having this reoccurring thought, if I can just convince my dad that it’s OK to drop out of high school and play in a rock-and-roll band, there will be no problem. That’ how I feel when I think about risking it all and hitching my career and family’s well-being to the blogging star.

There are countless bloggers out there, and statistically I’d probably have a better chance of being hit by lightning, inventing the next Google or playing guitar for Van Halen than making a living by blogging.

Will Blog For Food: But I’ve got to try. It’s my passion, and I want to give it a try before I give up and go punch the clock working for the man.

I keep busy with two blogs —  insert shameless plug here — and I love both of them. They give me the free space to stretch my legs and test my writing chops.

Besides, there are a lot of topics I know just enough about to be dangerous, so I’m sort of the ultimate blogger. But lest you think I sit around in jammie pants all day, I do have a few freelance contracts that keep some money rolling in to feed the family.

Will Edit For Food: One of my contract jobs involves editing television news scripts into AP Style for online use. It’s a great job because I get to work with TV stations from Hawaii to New Orleans. It’s also great because I write and rewrite between 10 and 20 scripts and news releases a day, so I’m able to hone my skills like few other people get to.

Think about it, how many people working in writing of any sort get to write this much every day? And while you’re not writing “War and Peace,” you are putting a fine edge on your craft by rewriting the work of other people. It’s a great way to learn how to be light, tight and bright in your writing style.

Will Write For Food: The other nice thing is that I get to do a variety of writing, from blogs to straight news to features and even some advocacy writing. The other nice thing in addition to working on so many stories each day is you learn how to turn press releases written in cop-speak and PR-buzz into understandable English.

So looking back, what was so important about Feb. 3? In the musical classic “American Pie,” singer, songwriter Don McLean told us that February made him shiver with every paper he delivered, because Feb. 3 was the day the music died.

In some sort of tragic irony, it arguably was the day McLean’s career gained life.

So here’s to you Buddy and Richie and the Big Bopper whose lives were lost in a plane crash on an icy day in 1959 near Clear Lake, Iowa, while following their passion to make great music.

I just hope that I have found the sort of passion that will lead to success.

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One Response to “Oh snap! I missed my slice of American Pie”

  1. shekh rabbani Says:

    Awesome! I am happy to find so many information about February 3, 1959.

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