A reader recently asked me if I always wanted to be a writer. To paraphrase George Carlin, “Well, not in the womb, but shortly after, yes!”
When I was 12 or 13, I remember seeing an ad that said something like, “Get Paid to Write Children’s Books.” I was intrigued and actually wrote a few things but I never did submit them. A few years later, I wrote a short story for a high school English assignment. My story was well received and was published in a school anthology. In college, I wrote another short story, again for a literature class, and it too was well received and published in a school anthology.
But after graduating, I guess I did the expected thing and followed a more traditional career path. I met my wife a few years later and we got married. A few years after that, we started a family. Frankly, between career and my family, I forgot all about writing for a while.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally got up the courage to make a radical change–I gave up my more traditional career so I could spend more time with my family and focus on writing again.
There’s something cathartic about writing. It’s really cool to start with a blank page and watch as the story unfolds, sometimes taking twists and turns I never expected. I know that sounds like I’m not in control when I write but the characters and the plot tend to evolve over time and they sometimes go in directions I never envisioned when I first began.
You know, I wish I could find some of my early work! That would be really cool!