Joel Skelton

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Joel Skelton

Up until recently, I joked with friends that the only creative thing I had going on in my life was my sock drawer. Writing has offered me an opportunity to be creative again. It wasn't until I started thinking about writing seriously, that I realized how starved I'd become to express myself in a creative way.

Growing up in central Minnesota, I was wrapped snug-as-a-bug in an environment rich with creativity. Having a musician for a father, our holidays and family gatherings always turned into joyous song-fests. My father would spend the better part of the afternoon (sometimes well into the night) at the piano acting as an accompanist to anyone who felt the urge to stand up and belt one out. I feel blessed to have those great memories to pay a visit on from time to time.

I guess it was a natural progression for me to leap from music to the theater. Shy by nature, I found that hiding behind a character I could overcome my fear and anxiety and truly enjoy myself. I could be silly, sing, dance around and entertain others to my hearts delight. What I couldn't do, or thought I couldn't do, was be silly, dance around and entertain others and still put food on the table and keep the lights on.

As we grow older, our priorities often change, and mine certainly did. I reached a point in my life where I needed to buckle down and think about my future. At the time, I viewed the Arts, specifically my success in them, as far too risky an investment. I needed something steady, something surefire that would bring to me the comforts in life we all strive for. It was this concern, this need for security that slowly, almost imperceptibly, closed down my creative urges/surges.

Well, that and laziness.

I have spent a healthy portion of my adult life working 9 to 5, and truthfully, for the most part enjoying it. However, there isn't a day I wake up I'm not in some way reminded of the joy one feels to have stepped out of the box and participated or contributed to the Arts. It's a feeling of wholeness, a unique sense of accomplishment I will never turn my back on again.

For now, writing seems like a perfect fit. I hope that I can continue to grow as a writer with each effort and in the process, perhaps entertain others as well.


© 2017 Joel Skelton
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