Jason Keil

Jason Keil is a writer whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, AZCentral.com, Phoenix Magazine, and OnMilwaukee.com. He also co-hosts the podcast What The Fork.

Living In Milwaukee. Living In The Past

Twelve years ago, I lived in Milwaukee. I had a dream of making a living as a writer. With the help of my friend Wes, I created an online portfolio of my work.

After my mom passed away, I lived in a small town in Illinois. I found another job. I married and settled down. Writing about music in Wisconsin proved difficult because I did not live there. I closed up the site. I stopped freelancing.

Nothing on the Internet truly goes away. I managed to find the remains of that old site.

Looking through my previous articles, I became awash in nostalgia. I forgot I had interviewed Sigur Ros. I had spoken to a member of Belle and Sebastian. I remember Henry Rollins became very angry with me. I joked about Dave Matthews with David Gray. I wrote movie reviews. I loaned Nick Lowe my Sharpie.

I have a distorted view of who I was at that time. I had not experienced any tragedy. I was filled to the brim with confidence. I had no clue if anything I did warranted such bravado, but I believed every word out of my mouth was special. 

There are moments now when I want to be as naive and optimistic as I was then. Today, I wish I could write a piece or go through a conversation and not think I am being judged. 

I’m happy I came back to writing a decade after I stopped. I’m certainly older and a little wiser. 

I’m not sure of my writing has developed. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to improve.