I wrote my first word at three and my first story at six, but I was twenty-eight before I fully committed myself to being a writer.
Oh, I’d thought about it over the years because I always wrote, stories, plays, and poems. But, I had a bit of ADD when it came to trying to figure out what I was going to spend the rest of my life doing because so many things have caught my interest over the years. Marine biology, meterology, acting, psychology, medicine, sociology. At one point, I considered them all. And I think the thing that frustrated my family the most was that I could have done all of them (though I don’t think I would have been the most successful actress because of my looks, or lack thereof) because I was smart enough to do any of it; I just didn’t have the attention span or the follow through.
My senior year of high school was the first time I actually made an attempt to be serious about my writing in the sense that I took a correspondence course on creative writing. It took a little over a year for me to complete and I got a nice shiny certificate in creative writing from it not long after I got my high school diploma, but I didn’t feel like I learned very much aside from the very important lesson that plot is a good thing and my stories could use it.
My first round of community college, I intended to major in English to work towards a degree in creative writing because that seemed logical. I’m a logical person and I think there must be logical steps to take to achieve goals and if I can find them, I’ll take them. Sometimes I’m terrible at finding them.
Majoring in English lasted one semester because instead of going back to school, I went to work. The next time I went to school, I was intending on majoring in sociology. The last time I went to school, I took every psyhcology course I could find.
It was the psychology courses that reawakened my desire to write (which had been squashed by a battle with depression and was slow to come back as I got my life back on track) because studying about these quirks of humanity made me want to write about them.
I started making time to write, started writing with the purpose to get published, started submitting my stories to contests and to publications. I got my first victory in 2008 when my story placed 10th in its category in a contest. That was the first time I really felt like maybe I had what it took to make a career out of writing.
And ever since then I’ve been kicking myself in the butt for not realizing it sooner. I feel like I’ve wasted time, especially when I see people much younger than I am land publishing deals or hear about some writers who’d been submitting their work since they were in their teens. I feel like starting my career at 28 puts me miles behind everyone else and miles behind where I should be.
Now every rejection feels like a setback that I should have suffered years ago and I’m too old to be dealing with it now. It’s like going through puberty years after all of my classmates. I feel so behind and I can’t catch up because in order for that to happen I’d need a DeLorien and a flux capacitor.
So until Santa brings me those things, I just keep plugging away, hoping to make up for lost time.
The late bloomer blues strike again.