Travis Sloat is an amateur everything who recently learned that in order to go pro in anything, you have to work for it. He and his wife, whom he affectionately calls “The Missus,” adopted two children in 2011 and haven’t slept since then. His writing sometimes reflects that.
I’ve always loved to write. It began in my teen years when my mind was addled with hormones and I pined for girls, clearer skin and the ability to hide erections. I wrote poems, trash mostly, and showed them to my mom. That’s as far as they went.
In high school, I took an English course with a teacher that made us keep a creative writing journal that we had to write in at least once a week. I remember getting stuck one day, and creating a character called “Sivart” who was my very weird and disturbed alternate identity. He had a different way of writing; his handwriting was worse and his voice was sarcastic and mean. The teacher ate it up. She loved Sivart!
Then my dad died. It took nine months for cancer to undo 17 years of my life. My writing, my voice and my life vanished with him. I ran from everything for a long time.
When I fell in love, the creative juices came back. Birthday and graduation cards, and eventually anniversary cards became platforms upon which I could safely express my feelings and have someone truly appreciate them.
It never got any bigger than that though. I kept a Xanga briefly, blogged on MySpace a bit, but nothing serious. “The Road” kept going, until the day I discovered what a real blog looked like.
I Googled “funny bloggers” and came across two guys, Rob Kroese of Mattress Police and Johnny Virgil of 15-Minute Lunch, and I went through their archives and laughed until I cried, then I realized I had stories, and I could give this whole blogging thing a shot.
And so, three years ago, I Like to Fish was born. Surprisingly, it grew. I joined in memes, I created Memoir Monday, which our host Erin participated in extensively. I wrote an SEO post about music sucking even though I had no idea what SEO was, and I somehow created a moderately successful slice of the Internet.
It got The Missus and I a paid trip to New York to be on the Tyra Banks show. It gave me friends that I’ll have for life now, some whom I’ve never even seen. It gave me a support network when I was trying to lose weight and when we went through the adoption. It led to me getting on stage to try my hand at stand-up comedy. And just two weeks ago, it opened the door to a dream I’ve had since I started; a job where I actually get paid for writing.
I took a blogging break during the adoption to keep from posting anything that might warrant a detailed investigation into our lives that was more intrusive than what we’d already gone through. It wasn’t easy to come back. I expected to pick up where I left off; a host of friends still hanging on my every word, and that didn’t happen. I’ve had to slowly rebuild what I thought couldn’t be knocked down.
The sole purpose of my blog is to somehow bring you joy. I want you to laugh, cry, and sneak a peek into the life of a twenty-nine-year-old amateur everything who is trying to leave his footprint on the world. I have big dreams, and I’m learning that I need a bigger work ethic to achieve them. I’m a small town boy turned man; I have the charm of Don Draper and the tact of Larry the Cable Guy, but I’m fiercely loyal to those who are brave enough to journey alongside me.
I want to thank Erin for the opportunity to share this, and thank you for taking the time to read it. I know you make choices in what you read, and the fact that you’ve chosen this means the world to me. Please find me on Facebook, Twitter, and of course I’d love you to visit my blog, which you can find HERE.