By John P. Anderson
Today I’m extending that invitation to you. I’d like you to write for the San Diego Free Press. You can’t say that no one invited you to the party.
June 4, 2013 was the one year anniversary of the SDFP going ‘live.’ I was invited to a meeting of the SDFP in July 2012 and my first article on The New Children’s Museum was posted on August 16 of that year. Since that time I’ve written many pieces mostly under four categories: free things to do in San Diego, bicycles, environmental issues, and beer.
It’s been a great experience having a place to write and reaching more people than my previous writings on a personal blog. I like to think my writing skills have improved through all the practice I’ve gotten. More importantly, writing for the SDFP has greatly contributed to making San Diego feel like home.
I’ve lived in San Diego since September 2009. My previous address was in Chicago and as with any long-distance move it takes awhile to get settled and feel ‘at home.’ It’s a natural process – meeting neighbors, finding favorite restaurants, checking out parks and playgrounds, etc. After a few years you start to fit in and feel comfortable.
Joining the SDFP accelerated this process for me and greatly broadened my knowledge of the city. I’ve been fortunate to meet many new people through the SDFP via articles, staff meetings, and introductions to others in the community. I’ve met San Diegans with vastly different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints that I wouldn’t have without this organization and the passionate people that founded it.
Has my writing changed the world? No. Has it changed my neighborhood? Perhaps a tiny bit. (And hopefully more in the future.) Has it made my life feel fuller and increased my knowledge of local places and issues? Yes, without a doubt.
I don’t agree with everything on the SDFP. I don’t agree with everyone that writes for the SDFP. I’m glad. It’s an accepting group of folks and whether your passion is urban planning, trail running, eating at deli shops, improving the lot of the homeless, or nearly anything else, you’ll find a space here for you to engage others and develop yourself.
If you’d like to get more involved in the San Diego community send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a moment and send a quick message about what you’d like to write – I promise it won’t hurt.
As fellow writer Doug Porter noted at the first meeting I attended (paraphrasing): “Write, just write.” What I’ve written is far from perfect and ever will be a work in progress but with a simple invitation and that advice I’ve found myself on a great journey. I hope you’ll join me.