It is ever so often that life throws us in the most breaking of experiences, for the sake of our own learning. Writer Jack Raymond knows this all so well. In his lowest point, he found relief in art and made beauty out of his own struggles.
Before he made his Best Sellers, Jack was living a comfortable life selling corporate insurance. Only after the death of his dad did he consider a career in writing.
“When my father passed away, and morbidly enough, while in the middle of writing his obituary, it dawned on me that this is what I want to do with my life.”
“Prior to that I was wearing a suit and tie every day, sitting in traffic, and made a bunch of money off that,” Jack said. “I was on top of the world at 25 years old and he passed and it kind of brought me back down to earth”
It was a humbling experience for Jack, but it was a dark period of grieving. He turned to alcohol and filling up hundreds of notebooks with his writing that he kept to himself. It was only after the recommendation of a friend did he decide to share his work on Instagram. One post every day, up until today. He found a niche of people by the thousands that could relate to his words.
“I started to just share my work and it kind of took off from there and within six months a publishing company reached out to me and published my first book”
But despite his quick start to being a published author he still doubted whether his work was good or not, before coming to the conclusion that one can only move forward. In his own words, “There was no artist that I care to even hang around with, or learn from, or associate with, who thinks their shit doesn’t stink like everyone.”
“Even if they think it’s good… if they look at it too much, they’ll start to hate it so they have to quickly move on to the next one. That was helpful for me, going through these tragedies.”
However, Jack recognizes that his first works appealed to people for their heavy and melancholic themes. It was hard writing from a happy place of recovery and acceptance, but he reminds us that “It’s okay to be happy.”
Though most of his sadness has passed, the virtue of staying true to himself has kept his writing great and ever-improving.
“I’ve always pride myself on just being authentic, being genuine, being honest, and after my dad passed away and while writing that obituary, it felt like from that day on, that was all that mattered.”
Empathizing with other writers who are torn between their market and being authentic, he shares with us this mantra, reminding us why we make art.
“It’s my art, not theirs. I write it for me. If you relate to it great, no offence but that’s not even the point.”
More from Jack
Click here for the giveaway!
Jack will be getting in touch with one lucky listener to create a custom piece—either prose or poetry—about their story. He will also be giving away a signed copy of his new book Lush.