I didn’t plan on becoming a writer. My earliest inclinations were not to be an author, but a ninja turtle. Then, I wanted to be a cartoonist, martial arts instructor, then eventually I settled on becoming a teacher.
I am not the typical writer–I did not, as far as I remember, write stories or journals as a kid. The only story I do remember writing had something to do with a crab, sometime in elementary school. That was it. Even more damning, I was not a prolific reader until my late teens. I grew up in a small, rural town, and most of my time was taken up with tree-climbing, fishing, and generally spending most of my time outside. I was, however, very interested in anything with a story, be it movies, comic books, video games or the occasional which-way-books (remember those?).
The first that I remember really becoming involved in writing was my freshman year of college. When I actually did attend classes and wasn’t busy learning Metallica on my guitar, I found myself bored beyond all possible belief. To pass the time, I doodled and wrote dark, sophomoric poems about my dreary and terrible existence. They were, to be kind, appalling.
After a series of events that eventually forced me to quit college off and on, I found myself living on my own for the first time. My girlfriend would visit, but wouldn’t live with me until we were married. So, I had time on my hands, no money for cable, and no internet connection. The only thing I did have was a steadily growing library (two full bookshelves at that time) and a computer with nothing but music from Cusco (instrumental melodies). So, I decided to try my hand at writing fiction.
Another pivotal piece of my writing puzzle is the author, Orson Scott Card. I had read his book, “How to write Science Fiction and Fantasy” on a whim, and found that it was as compelling as his fiction. Thus, my love of How To books on writing was born.
Okay, I know this is really getting boring, but hang in there.
My first full story, or at least the only I still have evidence of, is posted in the Stories page of this blog. While I’m proud of some of its parts, it is not a great story. Everything up to that point though, had been false-starts and snippets, so it was a great surge forward to actually complete a story. That may seem like a small thing, but it is a step forward.
It was shortly after this I began reading intensively, and also acquiring and devouring books on writing. Thus began my self-tutulage in the art of story-telling.