If you were to ask me what I thought I wanted to do for a living back in my early high school days, I can guarantee you that being a journalist would not have been on the shortlist. It might not have been on any list, for that matter.
I was young, foolish and naive. I wanted to be involved in professional sports in some capacity — whether a player, coach or whatever it may be. I didn’t realize the incredibly small odds that worked against me to achieve that dream.
But as we all know, things change and people change. I changed as a person.
Back to the writing though. Getting through writing assignments wasn’t just a chore, it was a pain that I wanted to avoid at all costs.
The thing is, though, despite my utter hatred for writing, (as the risk of sounding arrogant) I was still pretty good at it. I had for the most part received As and Bs and the occasional C but I just couldn’t get into it.
Incredibly to me, it was my lifelong passion for sports that brought me to the light. That made me see the error of my ways.
I guess looking at it in retrospect, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise. I mean, I had always been (and still am) a subscriber to Sports Illustrated. I had my favorite journalists and my not-so-favorite journalists too.
Guys like Ray Ratto, Andrew Baggarly, Tim Kawakami and countless others have been my inspiration to continue on this path. I feel like reading makes you a better writer just as much as writing actually does. Ron Orozco told me that. Ron was a writer at the Fresno Bee for 40 years and is now a journalism instructor at Fresno State.
These guys have all been instrumental in me developing my own writing style. And I have had many opportunities to hone my skills while writing for The Collegian and for The Rampage when I was going to Fresno City College.
Now I am in a full-fledged love affair with journalism. I can’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.