Hello, I'm Stephen. I'm an erstwhile writer.
I used to write. I was a writer. It was never my sole - never even anything close to primary - source of income, but I was a professional writer.
I wrote. I wrote comic books, screenplays, movie reviews, occasional essays and even short fiction.
I wrote all the time.
And then I stopped.
Not all at once. Gradually.
One partner and I fought to succeed in the world of comics publishing during a major industry downturn, and wore ourselves out swimming against the tide. We stopped.
Another partner and I learned the True Meaning of "And the Writer Got Screwed" when a dispute with a producer sent screenplays that we had laboured on for months and years way, way past development Hell - into permanent limbo. We stopped.
And I became a father. I took some time away from my day job to be a stay-at-home parent. I went back to my day job to provide for my family. I changed diapers, washed dishes, read storybooks, cuddled and hugged and kissed. I slept very little.
Writing? I stopped.
I never stopped feeling the need to write, the passion to create. But that need never found expression in action, because I was just too busy, and too tired. And wanting to do something isn't doing it.
I never stopped thinking, never stopped having ideas. I occasionally noodled in my notebook or on the computer. But I never finished anything - I barely started. There was never time. And having ideas isn't writing.
And one day, when describing myself in an online profile, I referred to myself as an "erstwhile writer."
Erstwhile. A very writerly, five dollar word that means I don't do it anymore. I'm a former writer. An ex-writer. I'm not a writer.
I'm living in erstwhile.
I don't like it here. I don't want to be one of those people who goes through the rest of his life talking about what he used to do. I want - and I need - to write.
I want to - and I will - get back from erstwhile.
This is going to be where I chronicle my journey, step by step. Stay tuned.