By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
I always knew I wanted to be a writer.
At the young age of, oh, let’s say 6 or 7, I would never be seen without some type of notebook in my hand. I would always be writing some kind of childish story, much like a fictional journal.
As I grew older, writing became second to sports. Baseball gloves, basketball shoes and football pads took the place of pens, pencils and paper. In eighth grade, though, writing made a comeback in my life.
We were studying poetry. Of course, what eighth-grade boy likes to read or write poetry, right? I griped and complained and surely drove my teacher nuts, but when it came down to it, I wrote about the one thing I knew: sports. I can recollect poems about football and maybe a short story or two about baseball in our short writing lesson. I would turn those in reluctantly, not thinking that they may one day be something of importance.
Soon, through years of creative writing and actually working on the craft while at West Virginia University, I found an even better way to combine the two things I love. Sports writing became my passion and became the career path I had set my sights on.
After getting my start with up-and-coming online publications, I’ve worked furiously on landing that first paid writing job. It wasn’t easy, but when you’re working toward what you love, it hardly ever is.
It took long hours that combined homework, a regular, steady job, and many freelance projects on the side. I’ve covered everything from WVU football to the Washington Wild Things, with anything thrown my way in between. I’ve spent the past nine months writing for local websites and even managing a San Diego sports website from my home in Morgantown. Yes, that sounds like a rough task, but it was a rather successful one that led to bigger and better outlets.
Several ventures and outlets later, I’ve been welcomed into a new home at the Times West Virginian.
I’m very grateful for the chances I’ve been given over the course of my travels, and I’ve been very blessed to come to the Times West Virginian as a sports writer, something I’ve been working toward so vigorously since choosing this profession.
I’m excited to come into this community and to become a respected voice that you enjoy reading with your morning coffee or whatever other ritual you bring your newspaper along for.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.