Simple Advice I Didn’t Follow Till Now

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Behind the Counter at Cronise Market Place

When I was 17 and about to go off to college I had a job working in the road-side fruit and vegetable market you see in the picture above. I spent the majority of my teenage years reading books that all teenagers read and I had dreams of being a writer. I distinctly remember helping with the purchases of a woman from the District of Columbia. She purchased some produce and a lot of flowers and she asked me what I wanted to do with my life when I went to college.

I blurted out that I wanted to be a writer and she smiled and said that it was a great aspiration. The key she told me was that I needed to write everyday and to start a blog. That writing is something that I would have to practice everyday for a long time if I wanted to get good at it. I said thanks and hoped that she had a good day, then I went home and looked up the word blog.

I went to the University of Maryland, College Park and I ended up majoring in Chemistry. Then I took two courses in my Senior year taught my Michael Olmert that changed my outlook. I realized in these courses that the majority of what he taught was available to me at anytime at a bookstore and his stipulation that we write 40 pages for the whole semester was just what I needed.

Writing a large volume of work, or what was a large volume to me at the time, made me realize through practice that I could get a lot better at writing if I just practiced. But then I graduated and I had more important things to think about like getting a job, paying back my student loans, and finding a place to live that didn’t require sharing a room with some guy named Larry.

Fast forward 7 years later and I am starting that blog like the woman in the Cronise Market Place parking lot suggested. I’ve got a PhD in chemistry and I realized that I had spent a lot of time being a writer for scientific oriented publications. I could easily start something here and hopefully keep it up. So I’m finally following the simple advice i got 11 years ago.

Sometimes the simple advice is the hardest to follow.

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Writer of The Polymerist newsletter. Talk to me about chemistry, polymers, plastics, sustainability, climate change, and the future of how we live.

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