I’ve only been a “writer” for three and a half years. Literally, like, I never wrote anything; I never had a passion for it; I was a bad speller and all of that. And yet, three and a half years later, I’ve had many experiences.

It all started in college. I got an A in my English 101 class and was on cloud nine. I discovered I had talent. So, now, in the Spring of 2010, I started to look around for opportunities to write. I researched writing and blogging and different things I could do.

I found Liberty Ballers. I remember seeing a caption saying “Write about the Sixers” and signed up. My slowness prevented me from realizing that I wasn’t going to be on their staff; I would just be writing Fan Posts. Still, I started to really hone my skills. As a Sixers fan very familiar with the team, the content was easy. I just had to figure out my voice.

And I found it. Oh yeah, I found that thing.

Later that year, I believe in August, I was approached by Josh Dhani. He claimed he saw the work I did at Liberty Ballers and wanted me to be editor of the newly launched Washington Wizard’s site. I called it: Wizard’s Basketball. It was there that I really laid the foundation of my blogging style. This blog was part of the Hardcourt Mayhem network which eventually shutdown in 2011. It was February.

And so it began.

I wanted to write about the 76ers, not the Washington Wizards. And so, I went about figuring out how to start a blog, for free of course. And stumbled upon WordPress and that was that. I had to ask myself: What in the heck will I write about? Sixers.

What about a name? Well, I decided on National Sixers. It was a representation of The Philadelphia 76ers and the Syracuse Nationals, the Sixers’ first name. Like I said, I’m a fan of the team history. Anyway, I spent my time there while still posting a few bits at Liberty Ballers.

While I loved doing Sixers writing, I wanted to do a little more. And so, I started Dante’s Opinion. Here, I wrote my opinion on stuff. Yeah. Now look, you already know where Dante’s Opinion headed so I’ll skip that here.

So, now I was running two blogs and they were both magnificent. Not really. They sucked. Anyway, I wanted to get back on the blog network path. But I wanted to write about the Sixers. I searched and searched until I found The Sixer Sense. The name itself drew me in. I poked around the site and liked what I saw. I poked around FanSided and liked that too. At this stage of the network, maybe half of NBA division was dead. I joined the staff, headed by Sean O’Connor and I immediately took off.

How exciting!

Also, around the same time (we’re talking a day or two apart), I was accepted into Skyword Inc as a freelance writer. A little over a year after starting my writing path, I was part of two writing groups and had two blogs of my own.

Let the good times roll, son.

And so, 2011 ended and on came 2012. I was invited to be the Sixers’ writer at a Philly Sports site called PHL Sports Fan. I joined in February. The site went down in April (I believe). Also, Hardcourt Mayhem made a slight comeback and I rejoined as a blogger on the front page. So, I was doing Skyword, FanSided, Hardcourt Mayhem, and PHL Sports Fan. I was growing and had many experiences. Eventually, as I mentioned, PHL Sports Fan went down and Hardcourt Mayhem sort of combined or was absorbed into Foot Basket, which is also run by Josh.

So, I was losing out on opportunities. But, I decided to just chill. That is, until Sean told me he was stepping down from the site. Long story short, he explained why he felt it was important to keep the blog alive. And he would recommend me to replace him. I decided “why not? Another experience to look forward to. Plus, I’ll hold things down until someone right for the job came along”. The divisional director gave me the OK and I was editor of The Sixer Sense. I had mixed feelings but I was excited mostly. As time went on, I really made an effort to change the way The Sixer Sense looked. Lots of the current pages you see on the page was created by me. I established connections with other people and got a few “The Sixer Sense exclusives”. It was a fun time. I think by January 2013, I had the largest staff on the NBA division as well as one of the largest in the network.

Still, the blog wasn’t performing well enough and I got axed. Again, that was fine with me because I was already looking for replacement. And so, that’s how my March went. In July, mostly because of inactivity, my time at Skyword came to an end. So, suddenly I am back in action with free time.

As you know, in August 2012, I dusted off Dante’s Opinion and transformed in into DALANEL.

So, here we are. Right after I lost out on the editorial job, I jumped onto Sir Charles In Charge. Later, I became a News Desk writer barely a month. I am starting a new chapter with the newsletter thing.

If there’s one thing I learned about these experiences, I know that I am a good writer. I don’t know where my talents will take me. As I said before, I am ready to quit writing altogether and just focus on this blog. Still, I’ve met some cool people and had some good times.

I can’t say it was all good. I had set backs. I received criticism for my work. Some nice, some not so nice. I don’t struggle with knowing if I’m good at what I do or not. I have confidence. I still wish I had a little buddy to mentor in the writing world. That would be great.

Also, I will hold on to these experiences and will use them to grow this blog and my craft.

No matter how short your “career” may be or how short certain jobs are, take anything positive that you can and use it to grow. Be better than yesterday…than last year…than the last decade. That’s what I took from my 3+ years. It’s only 3 but they were a long 3.

-DALANEL

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