How young are you gonna be when you die?
I guess I never really thought about that
You’re dying when you start thinking like that
All I know is time is undefeated so far
–Alkaline Trio, “Only Love”
I knew what I wanted to be when I was in the first grade. I knew what I wanted to be in junior high. I knew what I wanted to be in high school. I knew what I wanted to be in college.
I have known every day of my life since I was six years old what I want to be. I am now almost thirty-five years old and I am not that thing. I have spent almost every day of these past three decades running as fast as I can from that one thing I wanted more than anything else to be.
Eventually you can’t keep running. Eventually you reach your limits or come upon an insurmountable obstacle. You stop. You brace yourself for the end. That thing that’s chasing also stops, waits. You turn.
The thing behind you is you. But it’s not you. It’s a better you, a stronger you.
It’s the you that you’ve always wanted to be.
The most important lesson I’ve learned over these past two years is that the universe doesn’t give a shit about me. This, really was the death of the last vestige of Christianity within me. While I no longer believed in the Bible and while I no longer believed in god as the bearded man sitting in the sky I still held on to this notion of the universe as a place with consciousness and that consciousness still somehow wanted me to be happy and healthy and wise.
The universe cares no more about me than it does a speck of dust on the surface of Mars. The universe has no plan. The universe has no outcome. The universe just is. It turns and evolves and stars and planets coalesce and stars explode out in the vacuum.
This is existentially terrifying for most. It’s why we create the gods.
For me, though, it’s not terrifying. It’s a release from the burdens of expectation. I am, for the first time, free. There is only one question that I need to ask.
So here I stand, back to the wall, my own worst fear standing before me. He, that other me, that better me, holds out his hand.
“Are you ready to do the work?” he asks.
And thus the work begins.
I am proud to announce the launch of my official website: writerbrian.com. It’s not much at the moment, just a WordPress blog attached to my own personal domain name. But it’s a start. It’s a place for heavily curated content so that when I go out into the world and say to someone, “You should hire me to write for you,” I can point to a website and say, “Go, look. I’m pretty good at putting words together.”
This isn’t enough, of course. If it were simply a matter of having a website and writing well I’d have gotten a book deal or three by now. This is where the work comes in.
This also isn’t the death of Accidental Historian. There are things on this site that I don’t want potential clients seeing, either because they’re too inflammatory, too personal, or just too bad to show in that context. This is where I experiment. This is where I try new things. This is where I fail. This is not a place from which I would send links to a stranger who might pay me to put words together for them.
There will also be things on Brian Writes that never make it over here to Accidental Historian. Soon, hopefully, I will be able to offer links to places where I was paid for my words so that potential clients can see what I’ve done for past and current clients. None of that is there right now.
For right now Brian Writes is a down payment on the future. It’s a promise to myself that I’m ready to stop running and start doing the work.