I am a writer.

I don’t write to earn a living.

I write to earn a life.

There is a not-so-small part of me that feels like I’m living on borrowed time, as though each breath I breathe is not my own. And it’s not in that kind of “cherish every breath as gift” kind of thing. Every breath feels less like a gift and more like an undeserved act of charity — of pity.

In the past, I’ve written extensively about the impact my wife has had on my ability to be a better person, to live a better life, and to become the man I need to be. However, three people for whom I am equally as grateful, but have not paid nearly enough tribute, would be my parents. In all honesty, when my life began to crumble in March of 2012, my wife was my moral and emotional safety net. But my parents became my support in (almost literally) every single other way. It started when they pooled together the money to bail me out of jail after my initial arrest, it continued with loving moral support, financial support, and practical support before I went to prison, it continued with even more moral and financial support while in prison, and after prison, it continues to this day.

My parents are divorced and my father has remarried, but they have all courageously and bravely worked in-tandem to provide for nearly every need and necessity my wife and daughter faced while I was away and they continue to go above-and-beyond everything I (and we) have ever asked in nearly every aspect of our lives.

I’ve said before, the reason I still have a wife is because she forgave me.

However, the reason I still have a family, is because of the way my parents — my divorced parents and my amazing step-mother — have all put aside the past and have come together to enable us all to be a family, and for me to live my dream of being a writer.

Financially, writing won’t earn me much of a living, but if all goes well, writing will earn me a life. As I press forward “into the great wide open, under them skies so blue,” I know — without a single doubt in my mind — my parents have done more for me than any parent should be asked; and yet, they didn’t have to be asked, they simply did.

So, with this second chance at life — life as a writer and public speaker — I owe it to my parents and my wife to seize this second chance and embrace the sacrifices they made in order for me to have a life again. And this is why I write.

I’m not a writer to earn a living.

I am a writer to earn a life.

I am a writer for my mom.
I am a writer for my dad.
I am a writer for my step-mom.

I am a writer because they made it possible, and I owe it to them to make it count.

I’m 37-years-old, and one of my paramount goals in life is still to make my parents proud. Parents like them deserve a better son than I have ever been; I am a writer to earn a life worth living, so that their sacrifices for me are worth it — so that their sacrifices for me will change someone else’s life in the way they’ve changed mine.

I am a writer to earn a life.