Getting started is the hardest part. I recently listened to the first episode of a new podcast from the creators of “Welcome to Night Vale” called “Start With This”, where the internet famous writers/creators discuss how difficult it is to start a new creative venture. It’s so easy to tell yourself “it needs to be perfect” or “I’ll start it when I can give it the time it deserves.” This mindset or behavior often leads to the creative outlet never getting started or seeing the light of day. So begins these notorious notes. How Is A Wrestler Like A Writing Desk?
I kind of fell backward into the writing gig. Growing up, I never felt as if I had any right to write any poetry or short stories or what have you because I never had any official training. The only time I wrote was for a class or if I was just messing around making funny short stories for my own amusement. But I never believed that I was qualified to put anything out for real-life human consumption. My college roommate was an English major and I always enjoyed the silly short stories and poems she would write but never felt on par.
This speaks heavily to something that plays a major role in most aspects of my life; Imposter Syndrome. This is a thought process where you feel like you are strongly unqualified to be in the role or position that you find yourself in. I sometimes find myself feeling imposter syndrome in the wrestling world, my professional life, my schooling, social media, and now the writing world.
How Is A Wrestler Like A Writing Desk?
But I’ve digressed from my original point; how I got into writing. For those who don’t know or don’t follow me on social media (please remedy that, @NickIsRadford), I write wrestling fan fiction poetry. Originally it was just about two wrestlers in particular; The Cook Bros (@CookBrosWrestling), Brian (@BrianCooook) & Kevin (@Kevdeezy88). These guys are great. I like them. They’re also kinda immature and brothers. This means they fight. A lot.
Like, the sexual tension is palpable between these guys. Hence the easy fodder for writing brother/brother fanfiction poetry. It was a big deal to me when I put my first poem out into the world because I had no idea how people would react. I held myself to the standard of someone who had official “training” as a poet and I wanted this to be the thing that made me different, made me stand out. I had reached a point in wrestling where I felt I needed to reinvent myself and try something fresh. Writing fan fiction about other wrestlers felt like a niche that had yet to be filled and something I was willing to do. These were far form being notorious notes.
This was not the first time that I’ve changed, evolved, and tried to find myself in wrestling. Since I started training in 2013, there have been many different versions of “Nick Radford”. When I first debuted in DOA Pro Wrestling in Portland, I was part of the white meat babyface tag-team “NextGen” with Josh/AJ/Justin Alexander (poor guy went through a bit of an identity crisis early on).
The NextGen name was kind of meant to be a reference to how I wanted to be this meme lord nerd guy. Pretty much what Xavier Woods (and a lot of people) does now. But that wasn’t me. Near the end of that tag-team run, I purchased a cat singlet and eventually morphed into what is known as “Catford”. It was exactly what it sounded like. I was a cat person. Kids loved me. Hipsters appreciated it ironically. But I grew tired of it quickly and it’s been difficult to put behind me as a performer because it’s how most people remember me. When I dropped Catford, I teamed up with one of my best friends, Rusty Diamond (@RustyDiamond0), as one half of the Purple Wizards.
How Is A Wrestler Like A Writing Desk?
The Purple Wizards were whatever we wanted them to be. We were weird and creepy and just wanted to make people uncomfortable. We were germaphobes who wore hazmat suits, we were weirdos who masquerade masks, we were evil Portland hipsters. Which ultimately led to my next iteration, the solo evil hipster. The Millennial Falcon, The First World Problem, Podcast Prince, Coffee Crusader, Plaid Paladin, Vegan Delight.
This was me and I felt comfortable but it wasn’t completely original. There were lots of other people who were wearing scarves and carrying around coffee mugs so I needed to adapt and tweak my identity a little more. This would eventually lead me to morph into who I am today; The Poet Laureate of Professional Wrestling and one half of The Academy.
I suppose this is a bit of a roundabout way of getting to my points, and we took a couple of detours along the way, but I think this kind of brings me to the moral of the story. When I did finally jump in the deep end by releasing my first poem to the world, I got a surprising amount of positive feedback.
Friends and peers alike enjoyed the poem and encouraged me to write more. They didn’t necessarily understand what it was they were reading, but they knew it was entertaining. This led me to write more poems, experimenting with the format, and eventually expanding the cast of characters. I also started writing IMDb-esque movie synopses about wrestling posters for shows I was going to be on. I’ll probably discuss these more in-depth in another post but you can view them on my social media and my second Instagram (@WrestlingIMDb). And now here I am writing the first chapter of Notorious Notes w/ Nick Radford for ProWrestlingPost.com.
So to bring it all back around, I will reiterate; getting started is the hardest part. I told myself that I was not equipped enough to write poetry or that I needed a certain set of skills in order to start the process. But my journey through wrestling kind of speaks to how important it is to just start. Your debut will likely not be what you envision, it will likely not be perfect, but if you just put something out there then you have a starting point and something to build off of.
The only way to improve is to do something regularly. I wish I could remember where the quote came from but somebody once told me (the world was gonna roll me) that everything is a muscle and the more you do it the easier it gets. This was told to me in reference to talking on the phone or having small talk with strangers or overcoming social anxiety in general.
Whatever that thing is that you’ve been putting off because you don’t feel qualified or ready, just try it and see what happens. This concludes this edition of Notorious Notes with Nick Radford. How Is A Wrestler Like A Writing Desk?
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