October 1, 2014

How I Became a Writer

One question that I'm frequently asked is how did I get into writing?

​Looking back, it's hard to believe just how much has changed in the past few years. I never gave serious thought to being a full-time writer and chalked it up as just another unattainable 'dream job' right along with being an astronaut or a professional underwater basket weaver.

 I started writing creatively at a very young age...somewhere around age eleven or twelve. These early writings were nothing I'd ever share publicly (because, frankly, they are quite horrible!). However, it was the beginning of what I like to refer to as the "itch."

 Just what is the itch? It starts out as a very dull, barely noticeable tickling in the back my head and is usually sparked when I ask myself "What if..." It is here that the itch grows a little stronger and is harder to resist. My fingers begin to twitch in anticipation at the prospect of taking the idea that's been bouncing around in my head and putting it into something coherent...making it able to be experienced by others.

 While I never pursued writing in a serious manner, the 'itch' remained with me through to adulthood. In college, I had just enough space to squeeze in a creative writing class even though there was no benefit to my degree to do so (I blame it on the 'itch!').

 And wow...For the first time in my life I had an excuse to use creative writing as an outlet again. Somewhere along the way I had fallen into the rut of settling for the practical and this one decision had me excited about life again.

 Sadly, the creative writing class ended and I went back to completing my degree. After college, finding a steady job, even one that paid peanuts, was a difficult prospect. My diet consisted of peanut butter sandwiches and ramen noodles.

 On a late-night whim, I decided to join Amazon's self-publishing platform and submitted some of my creative writing pieces from college. These went on to be available for purchase in Amazon's Kindle store. I promptly forgot completely about it until one day, about three months later, I received a check in the mail from Amazon.

 Now it wasn't that much, mind you, but when I realized that the money Amazon had sent me came from people who had purchased my work, I was ecstatic! In the little time I had off between my three part-time jobs, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more.

 Over the course of about six months, my self-published works went from earning me a meal out every month to making more than all of my other jobs combined. It was then that I decided to make the leap to writing full-time.

This was a very big deal for me, because as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, being a writer just didn't seem like a reachable thing...It seemed so absurd (and still does) that I have moments where I sit back and think about just how amazing this journey has been.

Sure, there have been ups and downs, but I am forever grateful to my fans who continue to support my writing. It's because of them (and you, too, since you're reading this post) that I can continue to scratch my 'itch' and create new stories for you to explore.

Photo Credit: Jesse757 and leeno