By Rob Wilson
I have been writing since I was too short to reach the keys. I actually developed my own way of typing before the teachers could reform me. I still have to look at the keys.
Which is to say writing is in my blood. My Grandmother published seven books, one of which I optioned as a feature film to Universal Pictures. My mother was a columnist for the prestigious Kansas City Star before she turned her talents to raising five children. Even then, her brief notes typed on thin elegant sheets (like her) revealed a magical insight into her world, a world where dogs ambled into her little study and spoke, flowers had feelings, and the cacophony of our sibling rivalries flying about the big house were hushed into perfect, proper prose.
So I love to write. Which is not to say I have achieved what I could have -- I fought mighty battles to overcome hideous demons, convinced I would fail. She knew. She would creep quietly into the room as I agonized over a school paper and leave tea and toast, telling me "You are so afraid of the mountain you can't get on to the next step."
But I did. And I have. And I will yet again. It is what I was placed on earth to do.
I was Editor of my high school paper -- the first Sophomore to win that job. I majored in Communications at Stanford, and was urged on by my excellent professors there to apply to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in the City of New York. I loved New York, its immensity, its boiling melting-pot energy, its paradoxical admixture of anomie and gruff bonhomie. I got my first job investigating prisons and police for the Ford Foundation there, I sold my first piece to the New York Times there, was dispatched to Nicaragua to cover the first days of the revolution for Rolling Stone there. I even came close to my dream of selling a piece to the New Yorker there. But the elegant rejection of its editor slapped my ego down, and, stung, I ran back to California.
I've done okay. I have won awards, I have shed the good light of solid journalism on the dark corners of corruption and injustice, I've made a difference, here and there. I have a decent resume. But even now, at an age when retirement is supposed to welcome us to lie down in green pastures, I have a compulsion to write more, to write better, to be what I was placed on earth to be.
I am not done yet.