Tuesday, May 22, 2007
That Famous Question - When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I hear this question asked all the time (in fact I've asked it of authors) and the most common answer I hear is that they wanted to be an author since they were a child or "always." I must be one heck of a minority because I didn't think I COULD be an author until about two years ago and didn't want to make it my career until about 18 monts or so ago.

I grew up in Science Fiction fandom and I think because I knew all these authors, I had a very misguided theory that, if you had what it took to be a writer, these fantastic stories all practically typed themselves onto the page, fully formed and perfect and you didn't really have to work at it. No one ever TOLD me this, I just never learned differently.

That is until a few years ago.

I've always been an avid reader and pretty creative in other aspects of my life. I bead, I make jewelry, I knit, I can probably learn just about any craft there is that doesn't involve lifelike drawing (I have no visual memory so this just doesn't work for me). I had been teaching other software testers at work how to test software for security problems and suddenly thought "There should be a book on this."

I hied myself off to Amazon and hunted but nothing available fit the bill. The bug bit me and I then decided maybe I would just write one. Lots of research, lots of hearing naysayers and I had a polished proposal and an agent. While the agent went to work selling it, I went back to the day job.

The agent did sell it (despite the "test books don't sell" phrase I kept hearing) and while I procrastinated actually writing it (whole 'nother post on that), I started to wonder about writing fiction. By then I'd met fiction writers and really heard what they had to say.

I set myself to learning everything I could, joined a few groups, started to write reviews and the more I did, the more I realized that maybe I could do this too. It was work - hard work -but my prior idea that stories fell full formed was BS.

Of course, now that the Muse is out of her bottle, I don't think there's any putting her back in. And my new goal is to pay off the mortgage while I both write and work at the day job until I'm in such a postition as to be able to say I don't need the day job anymore and retire from us to write full time.

A worthy goal, I think!


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