I'm not a Writer

Euri Giles | Clareifi

At least I wasn’t until…

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Image credit — Ty Sugg — Unsplash

What does it take to consider yourself to be a "writer"? By most accounts, anyone who gets paid to create content and shares it with the world through a publishing platform, book, magazine, or other media outlet is considered to be a writer.  

Over the years I've made a slow and sometimes painful transition from consuming content to creating content, and throughout the process, I've learned so much about myself. I committed myself to make a living through content creation. My mantra became:

I am committed to making a living as a business owner/writer/creator… There is no other choice! #Affirmation #Clareifi 

To be honest, I didn't know where to begin. I had no focus, but I won't pretend that I do now. What I did instead was remember something that my dad used to say to me.

Everything is going to be ok if we just trust it and let it work the way it’s supposed to.

It wasn't an empty platitude. It was sound advice from a loving father. Thinking back on it, it was a tipping point that got me started on this creative journey. I don't pretend that my focus is any better today than it was then though. I've built my entire brand around a lack of focus.

Clareifi is a play on words. The word "clarify" - make (a statement or situation) less confused and more clearly comprehensible. Combined with "Clarence" my dad's first name.

Please allow me to Clareifi.

The day it started again.

I started writing about my dad, and his Alzheimer’s diagnosis more than seven years ago in 2012. During that time I would write random notes, things about him not remembering something. I would write down questions to myself like, how long did he have left? How would he share his stories if he couldn’t write anymore? I would write about what his diagnosis means for my future, for my kids?

I’m not a writer.

Dad was a real writer. He was a poet, a newspaper reporter. He freelanced and would write technical articles for publications. His work was published in books and magazines. I always thought that was cool. I was proud of the work he did, he was so independent, but it didn’t make me want to be a writer.

My dad has Alzheimer’s

Around the time of his diagnosis, he was talking about starting a blog or a website to attract more clients to his freelance writing business. It got to the point that he would repeat himself every conversation that we had.

We would spin our wheels. Dad wasn’t able to focus. He couldn’t give me any details about what he wanted to do. We would just have the same conversation every time that we spoke.

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Me and Dad on FaceTime

Me: Hey dad, how you doin? Whacha been up to?
Dad: Oh you know me, buddy, I’m always working. I’m trying to get something started for my freelance writing business. I’m going to call it Clawrite. Do you think you could help me start a blog?
Me: Yeah dad, I can help you with that.

I’m not a writer.

Me on the other hand. I did whatever I fell into. I started working in retail right out of High School. I became a manager while I was in my early 20’s in the same year that my first son was born. I leveraged my management career to shift from retail to IT sales in 2005 when my second son was born.

Fast-forward 7 years to 2012 (two more kids later), and I haven’t written anything besides whatever was required in school. For some strange reason, I start. I start to write. I start with notes to myself. I write on my phone, or in an app. This was when I made a discovery about myself…. It was easier for me to write my feelings down rather than to speak them out loud. I wrote about this in a recent post…

Write your pain away…

Sometimes it’s easier to write what you’re feeling rather than saying it out loud.

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Read the post

I’m writing.

Trial and error. That’s how it begins. Over the years I get distracted with what blog platform to use, where to host my blog, which template do I like this week? Oooh, what about analytics? How do I set up AdSense? What’s my Alexa ranking?

Sometimes I cry when I write.

I don’t know what to write about. Nobody will read this anyway. I can’t be so vulnerable and let the world know that I’m hurting. I have to keep that part private. Let me try writing about something else.

Fast-forward again. This time to 2017. I move my family back from Austin to El Paso to be close to Dad, and Mom (she’s been his sole caregiver up to this point.). I’ve quit my job… I have time to write. clareifi.com as it exists today is born.

This is the first post that I shared on Clareifi.com… again.

It was about making the move to be close to dad… It was short. My writing voice seems different to me just two years later.

On the day it started again…

I’ve been feeling a pull towards dad more and more. Not just dad, but also feeling like mom who is the sole caregiver needs to have some help. She’s told me that she feels lonely sometimes and that it’s nice to have someone to talk to. That’s why I’m making the plan… The plan to be there, to be close to them, to be there for them. They would be the first people to tell me that I shouldn’t change my life — my family’s life for them, but they’re also the people that ever since the second that I was born have been there for me. They have never failed me, they have never let me down, they have always put my needs before their own. So why shouldn’t I? I have the support of my wife & my kids. You see, we are happy. We know that we will be happy no matter where we are, as long as we are together.

So… Here we go. Another beginning. Another adventure. Another chapter in our life… Let it begin.

On the day it started again.

I’m not a writer.

At least… I wasn’t… Until…

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX
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