I finished high school more than 30 years ago. I remember having English classes during the first and fourth periods. I failed English classes because I rarely attended English classes. I rarely participated in English Class because I either didn’t show up for school until lunchtime, or I left after lunch and didn’t return to school until the following day. Why would I do such a thing? Because,Β  beginning at age 13, I smoked marijuana almost every day until my Junior year.

I’ve always known I could do the work, as did my teachers, who did their best to nudge me towards the right direction. Sadly, for more reasons than addiction alone, high school terrified me. All of the internal torment aside, I did manage to finish school.

I’ve always loved to read. Long before I discovered drugs, I would lose myself within the pages of adventurous novels and comics. In contrast, my writing skills left so much to be desired. A few years ago, I couldn’t write myself out of a paper bag with a sharp pencil and a handful of lighters.

You may already be aware; I was on probation for nearly two years. I spent the first year without a driver’s license. The terms of my outpatient drug therapy required me to attend several classes, groups, and meetings throughout the metro area. I quickly found myself using public transportation on and off for most of the day. Imagine spending five to ten hours each day riding the bus and light rail.

By the end of the first week, I was finished creating music playlists. E-books followed the music. I still love to read, but something inside my mind yearned to escape. Thousands of emotions and conversations were pleading to be transformed into words. That’s how it happened. I began writing short stories. Within a few weeks, I made a sensational discovery. What I’d thought had been little stories, were in fact, chapters, pieces of something much more significant. Over the next two years, I would write my first novelβ€”a creation of over 400 pages. A few of the early chapter excerpts are posted on my blog. Now, if I can finish editing my achievement, I’ll become a published writer.

Where was I? Oh, yes. After I fell in love with writing, I downloaded a handful of applications. You know, apps like Grammar, Structure, and Word of The Day. Sooooooo many hours of work, but I had plenty of time. Long story short, I finally finished English Class.

You’re the only one who can hold you back. Sabotage does not exist. All things are possible.

Joseph Shanklin

Saturday, November 13, 2021

13 thoughts on “My Thoughts This Morning [All Things Are Possible]

  1. For almost two years I couldn’t pick up a book and read more than a few chapters, besides the occasional short stories I’d post, it just wasn’t happening. No matter how hard I tried…until earlier this week. I picked up a book, something clicked, and I look forward to reading another chapter every day!

    Liked by 3 people

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