How I’m Pursuing my Passion

Here’s a hard truth in the matter: Ninety percent of us hate what we’re doing, and I was in the same boat. These days, I like what I’m doing because it gives me time to pursue my passion in writing as being a personal trainer means I get to work when no one else is working but my breaks are when everyone else is working. I like it, and it’s something I can see myself doing the rest of my life, if need be.
Before I fell into the fitness trap (it’s a tough sale, I’ll be the first to tell you) my love was reading and writing. As a kid who at the time wished to fit in with the preps and jocks, as we called them once upon a time, I decided to take up weight lifting and the years 2005 to 2015 warped me. Upon graduating high school, my goal was to be a personal trainer and make a living off doing so.
Most trainers are unable to make a living solely off personal training, but the few of us who do are in a grand position; it allows us to pursue during our downtime. Yet, for many of us, it’s not possible, but I can still relate. How? Personal training wasn’t my only gig, and once upon a time I had a “real job.”
I feel I’m undergoing de ja vu, but in a good way, as I have vivid memories of being up well past three in the morning pursuing my then dream of training others. At this point, the writer in me had been dormant to the point I was sure he was gone for good. This was back in 2011, when I was twenty. Call me young.
I’d work my shift, sometimes from three to eleven after an early morning workout and morning classes. I’d get home at eleven-thirty, eat dinner, and get to studying. Keep in mind, I’d been up seventeen, eighteen, nineteen hours, but I did what was necessary to get out of the redundant job or being a ‘bagger’ and ‘produce man.’
In September 2012 my dream came true and I’ve been a trainer ever since. It was the first step in a promising career which reinforced in 2013 and 2014, as I planned on training in a larger area when I had enough money to relocate. Yet, come late-2014, the will to write reared its forgotten head.
So, I started writing again, scenes of my earliest drafts of my ongoing manuscript, the Uprising of Columbia. My prompt? A modern-day version of the American Revolution. After writing a few scenes, the Harry Potter influences poured in with a fictional sport (really a modified version of rugby), and the main setting being an isolated school, a university in this case.
As 2015 rolled around, I dug more into my prompt, this time being worded as ‘an arrogant college athlete becomes aware of the terror surrounding his colony from an overbearing empire.’ Back in Weirton, I had my own office and for the first time in my career, I shut the door to keep members and clients away, so I could finish drafting a chapter.
In 2016, I continued working on my first draft until the manuscript totaled 185,000 words in November. It’s clear I had no idea less is more when it comes to writing fiction, especially with new writers. Well, I had no idea how to write, because I wanted to perfect this manuscript, as I’m doing to this day (had a lot of errors).
I enrolled in the Jerry Jenkins Writers’ Guild, which is a huge help and if you’re a budding novelist, give it consideration when he opens it again, it’s worth the price of admission. I read a few books by Les Edgerton on writing, and Derek Haines from Just Publishing Advice is another I’d recommend.
Turns out via research I’d been going about it the wrong way, so after reading a book or taking a class in the Guild, I’d read my entire novel (I’ve read it at least twelve times) and made necessary corrections, focusing on one issue at a time. For instance, if half my manuscript consisted of telling, I’d make every effort to show rather than tell. I axed the adverbs, omitted unnecessary words and stage direction, and described each character in a vague manner. I thought everyone was crazy until I completed my latest edit.
While the work isn’t quite ready to launch, I know this version is better than the previous ones. Uprising will be the only manuscript I’ll go at for an extended length of time, because I’m still very raw to writing due to the ten years I took off.
Yet, morphing from training to writing is, in a sense, seamless, because many writers train. We have blogs, and some of us write our own fitness books. Sure, there are those who have such books ghostwritten, but they’re few and far in between. We write to motivate, inspire, and log our journey, as I’m doing with this blog. We love new challenges, and many of us will juggle two gigs, which is why staying up until two or three in the morning for me is natural, because I’m willing to improve my writing. Not only am I glad, but I love doing so.
My next blog will feature how to pursue our passion while working full-time, as I currently am. What makes me unique is I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m starting where many of you are. If you don’t know where to begin, the next blog is going to work in your favor.

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