Everybody Has A Vice

Sometimes you just want a friend or to just reach out to someone. Many of us reach a point in time where life spirals out of control. At least it does in our minds. You’re not sure what to do, but you know you need to do something and fast. That’s why everyone has a vice of some sort in my eyes. Something that gets you buy. To me a vice could be positive or negative. Too much of anything can make you an addict so, it’s unfair to think of vices solely as something harmful to you and potentially harmful others. I have a healthy vice and it took a rough patch in life to realize what it truly was. I’m no smoker. I actually hate the taste of most alcohol. In fact, I hate the taste of vodka to this day because of my abuse of it during a very depressing period. Bad habit and vice to pick up. Talk about doing things that wasn’t me. I didn’t even drink on my 21st birthday. So for me to be drinking up to 4 times a week at 27-28 was the epitome of me not being me.

I used to think my vice was sex, masturbation etc because that is what definitely made me happy. It was also a great way for me to communicate my affection to women I cared about. I could always find someone available for that. That definitely caused some problems short and long term. I am happy to say that I’ve survived that period of time STD/Disease free. As you get older and you realize that sex becomes an emotional connection and a relationship based on physical chemistry. You have no choice but to dial back. You can’t carry yourself with the same reckless abandon that you did in your younger years, no matter how good it feels to you. Can you have emotionless sex? Yes. But you can’t have it for long periods of time. Especially not with one specific person. We’ll tall the “3 and Out Rule” one day and everything that means.

I used to write away the pain. It started early. I honestly don’t remember when, but it got more consistent in Jr High and High School. Time moved on I turned into rapper. It was never really a plan. Just something I fell into. For years people would say things like “I know you got a rap, Cam. As much as you listen to it, you got to have something.” I really didn’t though. I was just a writer and a fan.

I would give it a shot though. I would get pretty good too. I actually thought that would be a real career path for me. Then I hit “28 and up” and I began to feel “too old to rap” or feel I was being judge for the way I knew how to express myself. So I would sporadically dip in and out of writing for years but still feel no results. That’s what I get for caring about what other people think. If they really knew what writing was doing for me internally, they would never question the why. The mental, the spiritual and emotional releases that it helped. It was bigger than “trying to be a rapper” for me. It was a way of communicating in the best way I knew how. However, that is my fault. I should have kept writing. Even if it wasn’t songs. Just like I am now. I find myself able to get over things faster if I write them out. I tend to harbor feelings and emotions heavier with no outlet. It’s bad for my brain. I’m personally deeming myself to old to have that issue. Plus, my writing wasn’t designed for “everybody” it was for me. Nobody can “Out Me, Me”. I could have faded to the background and pen some thoughts and things and been good. Even me trying to build a personality with writing didn’t help. I used to have a “Captain’s Log”. Some of the content was good, but realistically that turned into me trying to be an “Entertainment Writer”. Trying to hone skills on a bunch of mess I really didn’t want to talk about. I think I ended up deleting that site. I had some good content on there though. Dang! I should have tried to go through that site before deleting it.

I’m not sure if I technically had a nervous breakdown, but I know that my mind wasn’t right without being about to write. Writing is my coping mechanism. I might have been able to close the door on some people the right way had I taken real time to write about them. I think some heartache and clarity about me being who I want to be would have came faster with writing. I also think I could help a lot of people like me. The dreamers with no resources. The people who love hard and practice that love unconditionally and are loyal to those loved ones. The ones who don’t understand their own hurt. The one’s who don’t realize who they hurt and why. All of it is something I feel I could heal with my ability to write.

In the very short time this site has been up, I’ve been having real conversations. People thank me for my honesty and transparency. Friends have told me how I’m speaking to them in a much more relatable way. There is real interest in my forthcoming books. People who have probably been friends and followers for years and have never interacted with me on social media are doing so right now.

I’m not a prisoner of the moment when I tell you, I’ve never done something this self-fulfilling in my life. Maybe because I’ve never gave this much of me in anything I’ve ever done. Maybe I just wasn’t mature enough to be me at this level publicly. Maybe I was too wrapped up in being the idea of something and not myself at my core. No matter the real reason, one thing is for sure. I’ll never not write again.

Birth of The Life Writer Cam

If you’ve been following this site from conception, you notice a slight change. It originally started off as “Pen Pimps”. An idea I had to start a writers coalition and share all the great content from myself and fellow writers who wanted to be apart of the site. The idea gave me great joy and a much needed breath of fresh air and sunlight in what was a very dreary and somewhat dreadful time.

As I started developing this Pen Pimps brand the only thing that became consistent was me. I was doing all the writing. I was the content. I was the driving force. Also, there weren’t too many inquiries about being apart of the site. When you hop on the internet and start baring pieces of your soul, the game changes. My range of writing stalled some things as far as building a group brand. However, it did not stop the progress of the site itself. The clicks, the followers and momentum all kept building.

Yesterday, I took time to talk to some of the people who have been checking the content since day 1. I wanted to make sure that the thoughts in my head were right and to make sure I wasn’t putting the cart before the horse, like I am prone to do at times. I started thinking I need to build myself up first. Then, get to building a team/group. Now reading it in two sentences, it’s more than obvious what the right choice is. How can you start and impact a group without creating a start for yourself? It’s not possible.

The curse of thinking big is sometimes forgetting the small steps need to be executed first. That’s the curse for me. Trying to build this writers coalition at square one wasn’t the right move. That is the epitome of pouring from an empty cup. It was all supposed to start with me, then branch out to a bigger brand collective.

Two things were learned in the process though. First thing was, I definitely found an audience who still reads and is looking for a writer to gravitate to in some form or fashion. Second thing was, people were actually more invested in me than the idea of Pen Pimps. I didn’t really expect that. I always believed that people want to belong, be apart or follow an entity that is bigger than one person. That’s still true on the surface. What I neglected is the fact that people would be that interested in me and my Beautiful Disastrous world, ha! My loves, my loses, passions, desires, heartaches and pains are being well received. The intrigue of the man was bigger than the intrigue of the entity. It’s kind of dope though. It means for the first time ever, I can build the brand of me. No special or created name. No specific tunnel vision focus of brand. I can just be me at my core. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a huge difference. It’s just that you are going to see and get a lot of things from me that you don’t normally see on sites and social media. I will continue to reveal as a means to connect with the people that don’t know how or even if they should reveal like I do. I will speak for many. In time I will find out who they are and acknowledge them properly.

Pen Pimps isn’t gone. It’s plenty of Pen Pimps out there. I just coined the phrase. It will now be used as my term of endearment to my fellow writers across the world. One day it will be the grandiose coalition I envisioned a month ago. However, today is the official launch of me as Life Writer Cam. Ain’t nothing changed but the name and domain. I thank you all for accepting a more permanent transition.

Pen Names and Tattoos

I’ve been working on one of my two book ideas over the last few days. As I started banging out chapters, it made me think. What will be next to the “written by” portion of the cover. Do I need a Pen Name? Should I use my real name? Does “written by CamQuotes” even sound like it would be taken seriously? All things I’m obviously worried about because the content of this first book may be pretty heavy. I want to be taken seriously. The content of the book is coming to me so fast that I may finish before this month ends.

I don’t want any preconceived notions about the book or the author. This will be nothing like any project I’ve ever done before. It’s me in a new space and a new world. It’s not going to be preachy, nor will I try to establish myself as an expert. What I will do is enlighten, connect and start new conversation. I plan to do that one book at a time. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to do that. I think the right name is important as it will stand with that. I was looking up authors and Pen Names and it definitely made me think that maybe I do need a pen name for one of these books. Probably more for that second one than the first. Name changing is kind of what I do. Partially because I haven’t been “famous enough” to have a name be big enough to gain national exposure. I don’t know why I’m always shying away from using my real name. I don’t have an ugly name. Although simple, it does seem to stand out. Maybe my government name truly is the way to go for the other book. For the content of the book, it definitely makes sense.

While thinking about the book, Pen Names and social media changes. I got to thinking about tattoos. I think I finally got a tattoo idea that I would actually keep for life and not regret. I have no tattoos. Every so often I think of ideas for tattoos and wonder what they would look like. Originally, I said, if I ever get a tattoo, it would be my daughter’s name in a finger-painted drawing she made and it would be over my heart. I think I want to remix that idea now. Give it a double meaning. I’ll have my daughter do a finger-painting of the word “Write” and have that over my heart. The double meaning is me writing from the heart and my daughter being the greatest creation and work of art in my life. Both writing and my daughter are near and dear to my heart. It feels like a great conversation piece if I was to ever be walking around with my shirt off. That won’t be happening, but I’d be very happy to take some pictures and then show and tell about the meaning of the tattoo.

Keep in mind I don’t like needles and I definitely need to find an A-1 amazing tattoo artist if I’m ever going to go through with this. Also want to give this chest a little more pop and definition before we do something permanent like this. Right now, it’s just a cool idea that I wanted to share. Definitely no rush in making this a reality before the year is up.  I’m pretty sure I’m a tad too old to be getting my first tattoo, but better late than covering up some young and dumb stuff I regret, right?

Social Changes: Connecting With “@LifeWriterCam”

#Change is the best word to describe the last few weeks since my #writing has picked back up. So many #aspirations and #emotions have been released and it feels good to #connect with people by just being me. The connection has been so real that I don’t really know if it is wise to continue on as “CamQuotes” anymore.

CamQuotes was a media persona based on something I do naturally. Remember and deliver famous, humorous of thought provoking quotes. I like the ring to it, but that and the content I was pushing out doesn’t really stick the way I want it to. End of day as a media personality you have to put something together that connects with the people. Something they want to support and definitely buy into. I can honestly say that not many people have bought into “CamQuotes”. At least not in the way I envisioned. About 5 years ago I was selling CamQuotes Tees. Made a little noise, but didn’t become the phenomenon I wanted. I then started an interview series turned podcast called Cool Conversations with CamQuotes. Again, sounds good and made some noise, but outside of the vanity, I didn’t feel my work connecting.

That brings us to present day. I’ve soft launched the “Pen Pimps” website and opened the door to my world, which I call “Life Writing” and I can see and feel the connection. I get more comments and praise than I do feedback and opinion. I see new followers and likes from people who I don’t know. I get text messages about the content. I get into more honest conversations and the energy is different. It feels different from @BehindTheRhyme. It feels different from @CamQuotes. That different feeling is so good and I think it is giving me the one thing I’ve always wanted my work to do; connect.

There is no brand without a connection. People want to feel, understand and believe. Me as myself in a vulnerable, emotional and creative state is building that connection. I love it! I feel that I have finally arrived and that the work is not going in vain, like I felt it did so many years prior.

Who knew Cam writing about his life and feelings would get an overwhelmingly #positive response? Definitely not me, but I’m glad it did. So, with all that being said. It’s time for a “Social Change”. I want to officially welcome you to the “social life” of @LifeWriterCam. My Twitter and Instagram will both be @LifeWriterCam. I tried to change my snapchat user but the username can’t be changed on that platform. I don’t need to go as far as deleting the account and starting over. However, the name you can search to find me is Life Writer Cam.

To all of you that I have connected with; I appreciate you and thank you for embracing the transition.

My Life Is Like Camouflage

I have what may be deemed an unhealthy obsession with camouflage print and patterns. I love it equally if not more than the colors blue and black. I’m going to try my best to explain it all right now.

Although I’ve never considered joining the Army seriously, even after I was recruited, I always have been a fan of Camo. You can thank East Coast Rap for that. Specifically Queens, New York along with Nas, Mobb Deep and CNN [Capone-N-Noreaga]. Watching their videos and seeing pictures of them in green army jackets and fatigue suits looked like the coolest thing ever to me! Then they would rock the bandana with the wheat Timbs and it capped off what to me would be the quintessential hip-hop thug look. I think back on the days when I had my black, white and grey army fatigue suit that I would wear with my black Lugz because I couldn’t afford Timbs. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t the man with that on. Over time I would cop other prints and styles of camouflage. I’d get shirts, thermals, pants, jackets and bandanas. I’m actually looking for my Camo Bandana right now and I’m a tad salty I can’t find it after just having it 2 weeks ago.

As a quick sidenote; The only thing on my Christmas list this year is “Anything Camouflage” and Wheat Timbs. I definitely need a fresh pair. It’s been about a decade since I’ve had my current pairs. If you would like to be a blessing in my life and hit me with some Camo, I would love you like the God in the Heavens.

I also like the metaphor that Camo print represents. It’s originally mean to be unseen, yet it’s a stand out print. It’s used in times of war and hunting, but is also a popular fashion statement. It’s for a rugged or clean-cut look. It’s a solid match for anything and can be worn by anyone without a definite stereotype being attached to it. When you think about it. We all are descendants of Camouflage print. We can be all of the above as we change and go through different phases of life. Some people can see us for who we are and love us as we are. To others we remain hidden or concealed. Passed by without knowing or acknowledgement.

In our bouts with life, sometimes we would like to disappear. We would like to blend in with the surroundings. Not to be like everyone else, but just to not be bothered. To be isolated and contained within ourselves. When our aura and self-esteem is at a high we want to be illuminated bright and beautifully for the world to see. Much like the yellow or orange based camo print. Those are the moments when we want to add color to this black and white world.

I’m a lover of Camo because I see a great amount of me in it. Maybe after this, you see more of yourself too.

Reflection During The Rise

As I get out this borrowed car and get ready to use some of this borrowed money to fill half this tank. One thing is on my mind. Never being in this situation ever again. To lose what you felt wasn’t much has been an eye opening experience. I now know the value of my previous blessings. No I wasn’t balling. My disposable income wasn’t that great. However, if I needed something, I had it. Even it was my last. I knew where the next was coming from. That’s not really my reality today. But you know what? I’m extremely thankful for this lesson.

I don’t think I’ve been this hungry to succeed at a high level in my life! It’s because I know the humbling experience of sleeping in car because you don’t want to make the hour plus trip to a home that’s not yours. You also sleep in that car because you know you don’t have that much money for gas to fill up 2-3 times a week. I know the humiliating feeling of having to ask someone to ask someone to spend the night just to make a job interview that’s close by. All you need is warm water because you have your entire bathroom and closet in the trunk of that borrowed car. I know what it’s like to technically not eat once a day. To use a restaurant or a cafe for air conditioning or just a different scenery. To go hard and create something for nothing but hopeful exposure. Only for that exposure to seem non existent. Having a misguided anger towards people that say they want to help, but can’t or won’t introduce you to a person that really can. For those of you that know me personally. Understand that I went this route on my own. I didn’t want to bring anyone down with me. Maybe it was pride or me not wanting to be the ultimate burden to anyone, but I did all this alone and by choice. Did I take help? Yes. When I needed it most a handful of people were there and delivered ten-fold. I love, respect and appreciate all of them for that. I hope none of them read this and say “Damn Cam! WTF!?! You could have hit me if it was like that!” This was just apart of my journey. A journey that I am just now starting to understand. Hitting any of you up everyday for a need, want or an ask, just isn’t me. I couldn’t do it. Don’t feel a way. I made my own choices.

It’s these types of things that have shaped me. It’s letting me know that I can not and should not depend on anyone. I’ve learned survival on a whole new level. I know what it takes to get by for days or even a week at a time with maybe $20. That’s something you learn when you think and live like you never appreciated what you have and had. It’s what you learn when you take for granted your haves because you are so focused on your have nots. It’s the storm that will make you appreciate the calm in your life. Sincere joy would fill my heart and tears would fill my eyes for a world of calm right now. I’m getting there. That’s why I’m sharing this.

When I become wealthy. I will help. I will help for all the times no one could help me. I will offer because I know what it’s like to lack simple things or decide whether or not you are going to pay this small bill or get gas and lunch for the rest of the week. The generosity will come because I know what it’s like to hop on gofundme.com and start an account and pride will scream loudly in your mind “what the hell are you doing asking for help like this!?!? No one is going to help you this way!” So you log off in anger thinking of a way to make it the rest of the week. I’ve lost, made sacrifices and seen no end in sight to my pain. That’s why it’s important that on my rise I never feel these things again.

I’m going to ball! Be appreciative and never take another blessing in my life for granted. You can find just as many people with more and less. So be gracious when you rise. Because a humble stumble is inevitable. I blame no one but my own mind. I had so much more around me than I realized. I see that clearly now that most of it is gone. I’m thankful cause I know all that and more is returning.