Hi, everyone! My name is Corey Toomey and I’m 29 years old. I live in Florida, the Sunshine State itself. As you’ve already guessed from my being on Jessica’s site, I am a writer and content creator. Not only have I written a novel, I also run a blog (ToomStone), YouTube channel, (ToomIgnite) and solo podcast (ToomWind). I began writing in 8th grade as a means of escaping reality. In high school, I pursued my passion a few steps further by acing my English classes and forcing my teachers to read my poems and short stories.
When I got to college, however, my English professors didn’t like me very much. I never read the required material nor involved myself in the classroom discussions. Could you really blame me? Who wants to read and talk about Sir Gawian and the Green Knight? Not this guy.
I ended up dropping English as my major to pursue other academic endeavors (Political Science, Accounting, Business Administration, etc.). My dreams of writing creatively vanished for a while. For the next few years (in the 2010s) I was pretty much wandering around aimlessly in life, unsure where to go. But life has its way of putting us back on the right path through our experiences and the people we meet along the way.
This journey all started last year when I was working a dead-end job at an Amazon warehouse. After working there for 2 years and realizing I had neither the drive nor necessary personality to move up in the company, I was beginning to feel burnt out.
In more dramatic terms, it was an existential crisis. At that point, I had already worked in retail, sales, warehousing, and designated driving. I also went to University on-and-off for a period of nine years (!!!!). In spite of the diversity of professions and experiences, I was never able to find my niche.
Yeah, the existential crisis was that bad. I kept feeling the urge to leave the warehouse before my shift was completed (absenteeism is tolerated only for so long). I kept wanting to go home to work on the book I’ve long dreamed of. In June 2019, I took out my 8-inch, $100 laptop and began typing.
Day after day, until my manuscript for Heather’s Mannequin was finally done. The following drafting/editing process took a lot of work and patience. As challenging as it was, I relished in the idea of editing something and making it better than it was before. That’s right, folks, I finally found my niche. After 10 years of self-denial, I did what I always knew I was supposed to: Write.
But I didn’t limit myself to that, no. I also started up my own website/blog through WordPress. I started making videos for YouTube. I started recording podcasts through Anchor. I am someone who simply likes creating things. In spite of what people told me when I was a kid, I don’t know if I’m actually “intelligent.” As far as I know, my intelligence is pretty average, BUT I am incredibly creative. That’s the kind of brain power I want to use for the rest of my life: creativity.
If I had any advice to give to aspiring writers and content creators, I have a few pointers:
1. Do not assume you need a college degree to create content, or to be involved in the arts in general. People are more interested in results, not a piece of paper that proves you know how to learn. Don’t waste too much of your life going to school.
2. Filter out negativity. When you’re exposing yourself to the public, you’ll get a couple naysayers. You’ll get some people that aren’t amounting to anything in life trying to put you down. “Oh, you look so stupid doing this”, “I bet you’re not making any money off of this.” Get rid of them, even if they’re family members. It’s a sad situation, but at the end of the day you’ll have to decide whose opinion is more important: Yours or a self-hating loser’s. Think of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Brie Larson, and Kanye West. They get people slinging crap at them all the time, telling them how stupid they are. But they don’t let their opinions define them. In fact, they use all the attention they get to their own benefit. Do that.
3. Don’t make excuses. Focus on solutions, not problems. If you need something that isn’t in your skill set, find someone and commission them to do it. Fiverr.com is a valuable resource if you’re going into content creation, I cannot stress that enough. Everything you need, all the platforms to distribute your content, are literally at your fingertips. 4. Finally, don’t try to be something you’re not. Trust me, people are a lot smarter than you realize. They will know, by instinct, if you’re putting on a mask and trying to be charismatic. If you’re an introverted weirdo, be an introverted weirdo! Part of gaining confidence is knowing who you are and embracing it. Don’t try to get everyone’s approval. Not everyone will like you, and that’s okay.
Find me on Instagram: @coreytoomey1