Questions: What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?
As an infant, I was surrounded by written works. Someone, possibly my mom, bought me encyclopedia sets in the year of my birth. My father, I’ve been told, read National Geographic magazines to me. Although he later hated that I was an avid reader, he must’ve been one of my biggest influences in learning to read sometime around the age of three. I couldn’t talk well, yet I could read. Learning how to write was easier for me than it seems to be for most children. And in school, we were expected to tell stories through writing.
So I wrote.
I hid much of my writing. That my stories could be criticized the way everything else did (generally, harshly and without prompting). In my diaries, I often self-censored to avoid leaving content that could be used to harm me. I buried one elementary school diary that I’d been too honest in using as a record. My notebooks for fiction were covered in the closet, stuffed under my mattress, or kept at the bottom of deliberate messes in my room, when I had a room and unboxed stuff of my own. (Home was a precarious thing in my childhood.)
Meanwhile, when I completed those school assignments, teachers praised my stories. One summer in my early teens, I read the community library’s copy of How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, by Orson Scott Card. The praise and the steps I saw described toward publishing inspired me to believe I could one day be A Writer ✨.
Several moves and other major life changes later, I was in my 20s, working full-time, and processing the news of my first cancer diagnosis. It was a only little cancer, I was told. That’s not what it felt like. The diagnosis frightened me into reconsidering my life goals.
I still wanted to a writer. Specifically, I realized, I wanted to be a published writer, an author, preferably in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Why? Because that was what I had most enjoyed reading, watching, and plotting out in the privacy of my mind since I had seen Star Wars for the first time at nine years old. Someone suggested that movie was a part of Science Fiction. I looked for books like it, starting with Star Wars Expanded Universe tie-ins that introduced me to the works of authors such as Kevin J. Anderson, Timothy Zahn, Dave Wolverton, and Rebecca Moesta. Then at thirteen years old, I read over my sister’s shoulder a book titled Ender’s Game. That is what led me to looking up all the books by Card that were marked with spaceship and unicorn stickers in my community library.
The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers may express doubts and concerns in their posts without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. The groups is meant to be a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.