Some authors say they write simply because they can't see themselves doing anything else. This was not the case for me.
But let me get something straight: I do love writing. I may not be "A#1, The Bomb" at it - in fact, I'm sure there will be some who say I downright blow at wordsmithery. And that's okay. I suppose it's all subjective. There's a handful of best-sellers less readable (to me) than a second-grader's "WOT I DED 4 SUMMR" essay. Or, a particular variety of teenage Facebook posts...
"Y gurls NoT liek my ituns plylst??? LOL"
When I write, it feels natural. As if it's what I'm meant to do. Rewind a year and a half ago, I'd never believe I would actually, seriously, aspire to literary composition. I didn't have the stereotypical beard, glasses, pipe, turtle neck or receding hairline for the job. Hmm, maybe I'm confusing "author" with "professor"...
December 2010: I had just finished a part-time semester at TCC NE, a North Texas community college, trying to get some pre-requisites out of the way for the Physical Therapist Assistant program. I aced my two classes (a large improvement from my last semester, two years prior) and was feeling pretty good. But then I did some research, and made a shocking discovery: This community college program was insanely competitive. Even if I did everything perfectly, there was no guarantee I would get in. And it's not like Physical Therapist Assistant was my dream job as a child, I just needed a good career to support my family.
The summer before that, I played with the idea of working for the fire department. Before that, a couple years waiting for a call from the FAA to join the Air Traffic Controller cadet program (which never came, despite my test score deeming me "Well Qualified").
Fast forward to January 2011, I haven't a clue what I should pursue. But then comes The Wife with the assist: She suggests I do something creative. I'd never thought that was a feasible option, or at least not for a career. She lists off a few odd jobs I might succeed in, such as guitar lessons, puppet show for kids' parties, writing a book...
In a few weeks, I pieced together the story for Float in my mind. When I actually began putting words to screen, they flowed out quite easily. Then, other ideas for other novels came to mind. And the best part was, I enjoyed every minute of it. And I still do.
For me, writing feeds a desire I have always had: The desire to create. Whether it was music, puppetry, film, video games, professional wrestling (you can laugh, it's okay) - I grew up fantasizing about creating things for people to enjoy. And maybe at first I didn't think writing was glamorous enough, but now I'm so glad I tested the waters. I think it's the right fit for me.
Can I make it a sustainable career? Will I even turn a profit? Will I gain an audience, outside of my (gracious enough to support me) friends and family? I guess time will only tell.
But one thing I've learned: In order to feel content in life, I must create something. I hope everyone reading out there will be glad I did.