Celebrating One Year at www.mattgrantwriter.com
Today is my birthday!
Well, sort of.
One year ago today, July 16, 2016, I purchased the domain www.mattgrantwriter.com and my website went live. The creation of this site was the culmination of an entire lifetime of built up ambition.
Most kids wanted to be a firefighter or a music star when they grew up. I only ever wanted to be an author. On a dusty shelf in the basement of my childhood home, I have a project from first or second grade. The assignment was to create a sculpture of something you were passionate about, and I chose books. I made a reading chair out of toilet paper tubes and decorated it with book titles I was still years away from even being interested in reading, like Huckleberry Finn and Treasure Island.
For many, many years I told myself that one day, I would be a writer. I was always working on stories and novels, but I had never actually went for it. Until last year. I finally decided to set up a website and see what I could make of a writing career. I didn't dramatically quit my day job or anything like that. But I bought this website, and I started carving time out of my schedule to devote to my craft.
I still have a long way to go, and I still have far less time than I would like to work on my writing. But the point is I'm actually doing something about it. And it feels great.
This past year has been an interesting and enlightening journey. For most of it, I wasn't sure what kind of writer I wanted to be. There was a tension between the kind of writing I really wanted to do - fiction, personal essay, creative nonfiction, cultural commentary - and the kind that makes consistent income, like copywriting, ghostwriting, and content marketing.
A Catapult class I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to earlier this year (thanks to Electric Literature) helped clear some things up for me. I got some insight into the realities of building a writing career online in the age of the Internet. I got up my courage to pitch some stories to editors and how to follow up. And I saw that there's nothing wrong with supporting yourself with steady income while you also work on passion projects.
The class led to me selling my first paid pitch to a website, and selling my first personal essay as well. The year hasn't been easy; it's been more work than I even expected it would be. But I'm so proud of how far I've come. More than anything, it feels like a huge step forward just being able to call myself a writer and mean it.
To celebrate my one-year anniversary, I completely re-designed my website. The new mattgrantwriter.com reflects even more the kind of writer I want to be. You'll see my thoughts on culture and entertainment alongside business tips and the work I do for clients. It's all a part of a cohesive picture of the career I'm building.
I'm really proud of the new design and excited to keep adding more helpful and engaging content to my portfolio. Thanks for being a part of the journey with me!