I’m considering actually purchasing a domain name and putting together a website. It was recently driven home to me (after significant browbeating on the part of those close to me) that I have a pool of talents that I really ought to be honing, refining, and actually doing things with.

I ought to be writing columns more regularly, for example. I ought to be shopping myself out to local and online publications for column pieces, because I know good and damn well I can do it. Perhaps not perfectly yet, perhaps not even well, but at least as well as a lot of what I see in local (and broader) newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.

I ought to be writing fiction more regularly. I ought to be finishing short stories, I ought to be poking about in writers’ groups and getting feedback, I ought to be improving my craft and really doing something with what I know is at least acceptable talent.

I ought to be taking more pictures. I ought to find photography classes that are actually offered when I can take them (a more difficult feat than might be expected, thanks to my schizophrenic work schedule), and I ought to actually learn the technical craft of what I have thus far done with merely an eye to composition and a cobbled-together, basic awareness of how a camera works and what makes a good picture. I take damn good pictures, but I can take better with applied knowledge. I am hungry to learn.

Beyond that: as I do these things, as I learn and hone and refine and improve, I will want to begin sharing what I do with others. I will want to be able to point those interested to a collection of my best work and say to them: see. This is what I have done; these are my accomplishments. These are my talents, distilled. And, if all goes as I wish it, being able to do that will gradually start assisting me in making my living.

I did say ‘assist’, and I meant it. I’m not going to jump up and down here and scream jubilantly to the heavens that I am going to be the next Neil Gaiman or Annie Griffiths Belt (if that happens, though, I won’t complain), but surely it’s not being naive to think that I can at least make something remunerative out of the things I enjoy doing.

Other people do it all the time, after all, and I no longer subscribe to the paradigm that getting what you want is something that happens to Other People. It’s my turn, now.

Anyway, then: a website. I know myself. If I have a portfolio website, I will want to fill it with things. Therefore, I will need to create things with which to fill it. I will need to write more. I will need to take more photos. I will need to actually start doing the things I keep saying I will do, and maybe then…

Maybe then.