“Don’t die with your music still in you.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
(The above quote is one of my all-time favorites, and I believe it is the core of our existence).
I have always had a passion and interest for writing. A few creative writing assignments in elementary school gave me an insatiable appetite for whipping up a few stories that garnered the attention of teacher and classmates. In grade 4, my elementary teacher, Mr. Allison, gave me a Hardy Boys book as a gift. Inside the cover, he wrote, “To the greatest story writer I know.”
Fast forward to 1994. After two unsuccessful attempts at trying to sell a screenplay, and a teleplay, I ignored my inner voice and settled for a less than desirable job with a steady income. While the pay helped satisfy the immediate needs, my inner voice longed for a life of purpose. For eight years I bounced between jobs where I followed the money, not my passion, nor interest. At age 32, I was newly married, living in a new house with a new born baby, and unemployed, as the Company I had been working for prepared itself for bankruptcy.
For the next 18 months, I became mister mom. Between changing diapers and playing with my daughter, the quiet moments allotted time to reflect on my path in life. With some encouragement from my wife, I resurrected my writing endeavors. Having a passion for collector cars, I freelanced for Old Autos, a local automotive newspaper with an international distribution. It was the first time I saw my work published and the feeling was simply triumphant. (By the way, thank you Murray McEwan, co-founder of Old Autos, for giving me the break I needed).
Not long after, I was browsing the showroom of a local classic car company to brainstorm ideas for my next automotive article. After a brief introduction with the owners, I was offered (and accepted) an opportunity to write copy for their vintage, sport and antique classic car auction catalogs. A few weeks later, I cold called on a local graphics company which later led to several memorable, writing projects. While I had become self-employed and was getting paid on every writing assignment, the income was less than a third of what I was accustomed to being remunerated. However, I was living a life of purpose, and for the first time in a long time, I was happy.
Follow your dreams and success will follow. This is not an empty statement. In the early years of my writing endeavors, I had the privilege of working with automotive designer and author, Phil S. Egan, on a feature article that was later inducted into the Tucker archives of the Smithsonian Institute. Aside from writing pages of catalog copy on classic cars – some owned by Hollywood icons such as Jay Leno, Tim Allen, and Nicholas Cage – I also filled temporary positions as Managing Director of Publications for RM Auctions, and later Managing Editor for Biz Magazine. Yet my most memorable accolade came in the form of a letter written by a school teacher for his appreciation of an automotive article I wrote for Old Autos that helped a student with his academic learning while confined to his home. As you can imagine, I was quite moved, most humbled, and simply amazed that a story I wrote filled a higher purpose than simply good entertainment.
Steven J. Repergel