I am not sure if there was ever a point where I felt like I ‘became’ an author. I am pretty sure I always have been one; there’s nothing else in life I have ever wanted to do other than write. I don’t know if you would consider writing my calling. For me, it is as natural as breathing.
As soon as I had enough of a vocabulary to put words together, I would tell my mom stories and make her write them down for me. I couldn’t necessarily read them at the time, but I did make her read the stories to me before I went to sleep. Eventually academics caught up with my mouth, and I was able to write my own stories. When I wasn’t outside with friends, asleep, or at school, I was writing.
I wrote about nearly everything. Some stories were only thinly fictionalized accounts of events to help me cope with situations and experiences that were going on in my life.Others were completely made up fantasies of places and people from the far reaches of my imagination. Sometimes I made up characters to populate fictional worlds, and other times it was a great way for my friends and I to have epic adventures even when we weren’t together. Writing all the time allowed me to find my own voice and experiment with different genres to find what interested me.
Although I make some money now, it wasn’t always this way. Being a writer can be hard work with little to no pay. It is easy to get stuck on a plot point or dialog and be tempted to give up. When you’re a self-published writer, you don’t have the same deadlines as a writer who has a contract with a publishing house, which is both good and bad. You may find the lack of deadlines freeing, or it becomes easier and easier to procrastinate because you aren’t beholden to a calendar. Writing can also be very lonely, isolating work when you aren’t regularly submitting pages to someone else. And if you don’t have the support of people around you, it can be even harder.
I am so grateful to have the support of my family. I always felt the approval and pride my parents had for me. They never once tried to deter me from my dreams, nor did they tell me that I needed to be practical and find a real job while I lived under their roof. Now I also get to experience that same support from my wife and son, who allow me to lock myself in the office/guest room and basically play pretend all day, secure in the knowledge that I have their unwavering support and understanding. It certainly makes it all easier for me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of them and the things they have done for me. I only hope that they enjoy my writing as much as I enjoy their support!