I visited Greece in 1999. A couple of weeks prior to leaving I received a package from my mother with a hand written note and a journal. She expressed excitement for her oldest son heading off to Europe. She wanted me to chronicle the trip in the journal. I thought it was a sweet gesture from someone who had always wanted me to embrace my creative side. I returned from the trip with great memories and an empty journal.
A few years back, I received a beautiful leather bound journal from my wife for Christmas. Before I had completely unwrapped the gift my wife joyously exclaimed, “You should write something!” The same thing occurred the following Christmas. That time around she simply said, “You really need to begin writing.” Two years passed and both journals remained unopened on my bedside night stand.
Lack of confidence, fear, or the inability to just take some time and begin something all played a factor in my hesitancy. Then, sometime in the summer of 2011, I said fuck it, opened the journal and laid pen to paper.
I often find myself in conversations about books while in social settings. Without fail, the discussion segues into an original idea of their own they wish to someday write. Whether it’s a novel, short story, or opinion piece, the ideas surfacing from the people I run into around town excite me. “You should definitely begin writing on that” I tell them. The same conversations happen repeatedly. Nothing comes from it.
Why did Alan and I start 67 Press? We want to take that idea from inside your brain and turn it into a finished product. You have it in you and just maybe 67 Press can push down a barrier or two and bring it out into the light of day. My mom and wife did it for me; we’d like to do it for you.
It started like a lot of ideas do, barely formed and hardly there, buried among the minutiae of everyday thoughts, not much more than an itch. That idea, that itch, was put there by a particularly zealous student teacher in my tenth grade English class. She believed we all had poetry inside us; we just needed someone to help us get it out.
It started with a spiral notebook. It was supposed to be for one of my college freshman year classes, but instead of taking notes, I scribbled ideas and pieces of thoughts. I created characters and scenes and snippets of dialogue. I listened to the sighs and coughing and whispers of my classmates, and I wrote them down. But more importantly, I used a page of that notebook to write one sentence, “I want to be a writer.”
What that one simple sentence has meant to me over the years has changed and evolved with me over time. I’ve filled more notebooks; I’ve written copy for everything from foot diseases to mosquito repellent. I’ve blogged, I’ve edited and I’ve continued to furiously scribble words in an effort to find meaning in what we do, living our life.
It started with a teacher, a notebook and a few ideas. It started with my very basic need to connect. It started when I realized I wanted nothing more than to have someone read what I write and have it mean something to them. It started when I stopped caring about failure.
Now it starts with you. We’re a lot like my tenth grade English teacher. We believe you have it inside you; someone just needs to help you get it out. We’d like to be the ones to help you do it. Take a chance and send us your work, we might not sign you, but we respond to anyone with enough courage to send us what they write. We’ll give you honest feedback and maybe even take you out for a beer.
It starts now.