How I Got Here

I will try to keep this as concise as possible, as I will likely delve deeper into some of the topics below in greater depth in the near future. In my first post, I just wanted to tell you a little about me, how I got here, and where I hope to go. Thank you for reading, and maybe you’ll decide to follow and come along with me.

When I was young, my mother would take me and my sister to the library on a regular basis, and we would each check out stacks of books. Unlike many children, we both loved to read. It seemed that no matter how many books we checked out, we would each finish our pile before they were due. Along with this voracious reading habit, I developed a desire to write, and a love for the process. As I grew older, I let my passion for writing fade in pursuit of a career in the culinary arts.

I had intended to go to culinary school after high school graduation, but with a free ride in front of me to the University of Maryland, my parents convinced me to take that opportunity first. After working in restaurants and eventually graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies (pop culture and the media with a focus on film), I finally pursued my dream to become a chef. I attended culinary school, and after receiving my Associate’s degree, I bounced around restaurants in DC, MD, and VA. After landing in a restaurant in which I worked as a Sous Chef (including three months straight without a day off, covering for the Chef who was attending culinary school in Canada) I decided to try something new.

After training my replacement at the restaurant, I started working for Whole Foods Market. I started in a store, ran a department for a couple of years, then moved to the regional office. While not working with food directly most of the time, I still enjoyed writing menus, building programs, and working with the teams as we opened new stores. However, after almost 8 years into working for regional, I realized that I had sacrificed my passion for writing, my passion for cooking, and essentially my life as a whole for a paycheck, and decided that I was ready for a change.

I began writing my first novel in November of 2014 while participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The first draft was mostly finished by March of 2015. I began editing in May/June 2015 whenever time would allow, given our often outlandish travel and work schedules and demands. I found that I was tired of being a corporate cog that wrote when I found that I could make the time, and decided that I would rather be a writer who does what he has to do to pay the bills. I gave my notice to Whole Foods in December of 2015 in order to strike out on my own, and to pursue writing and other ventures full time.

I finished the final draft of my novel earlier this month, and after much procrastination, trepidation (and a considerable amount of nausea), I sent off my first query letter today. I do not recommend that anyone follow my lead. I know that it’s a long road to publication, with plenty of rejection along the way. I know that trying to break into the world of published writers that can make a living at it is NOT a sure thing. But people do it. So why not give it a shot?

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10 thoughts on “How I Got Here

  1. Awesome Michael soooo proud and inspired by you. We should catch up soon. Keep after your dreams you never know what will happen.

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  2. First, I love the name of your blog. Great job! Very clever! Secondly, I admire your attitude and your path. It takes guts. Be proud no matter how it turns out. And lastly, if anyone can be successful at a blog, I definitely think it would be you. I am definitely a part of your audience and am very very excited about it! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Corinna! You also have a last name that lends itself well to blog titles, I see 🙂 I have a few different ideas of where to go with this. I guess I’ll just do the same that I did with the book, and see where it goes.

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  3. Changing career paths is never easy and always a road less traveled. And until you do you never know what can become of it. It takes guts to do what you are doing, and I commend you! I too took a job to become a vet tech and at the time it was only a receptionist job at a veterinary clinic. Three years later I am a veterinary technician in the critical care unit and just applied for a scholarship to continue schooling to become licensed! I am happier in my choice to change careers than I was before and even better LESS STRESSED! Rock on Knapp!

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  4. I very much enjoyed reading your first blog post and wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something you know and are comfortable with and step out into the unknown.
    Approximately 6 years ago I left the practice of law to become a federal agent and am now yet again leaving my agency to embark on a new journey with another agency. So, I feel like I understand where you are coming from.
    I wish you the best of luck with the publication of your book and look forward to reading it some day. A signed copy would be nice too.

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    • Thanks “An Old Friend”! I have to say that this struck me as the type of thing that you see in Thrillers and say, “that never happens in real life”. Email from the mysterious “Old Friend”, who has worked in law and government agencies…but good luck with your new endeavor as well!

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