I love stories. I always have. Whether getting lost in a book or watching
movies old and new, I love being transported to somewhere else for a time. It’s the perfect way to take a break from the everyday world, if only for a little while. I have written most of my life (in journal form) and have kept a tickler file of story ideas that mostly just remained ideas. I told myself it was better to realistic and so I became a software developer, and for 30 years of my life I have worked and written in a different sort of language, programming language.
My family never really supported me. I was an artistic child who loved to draw, paint, color, write, do sand paintings, even knit and crochet, do embroidery, etc… I didn’t care as long as I was creating. I was hunting for my preferred medium. There was a contest that was always in the paper, draw this mouse and see if you have artistic talent. I drew it with ease and I mailed it off. Of course I got the acceptance letter that said I had ability and I could go to art school. My mother, never being one to coddle infantile fantasies, shot me down, told me it was a scam, and made me feel ridiculous. She told me that I needed to focus on learning something where I could make money. Artists don’t make money. It was a small thing. But being that she was the authority figure in my life, I listened, and I picked a profession that required math skills believing I would be taken seriously.
Guess what happened? I have had a great career as a programmer, but my family still doesn’t take me seriously and probably never will. They still work on dashing my dreams and stomping all over my artistic ambitions. As a woman of 55, I realized I had taken on a left-brained profession and my right-brained self was still screaming for an outlet. The jokes on me. So, as many people my age do, I decided to change careers, sort of. I am doing what I love to do. I am writing because I want to and because it feeds my inner soul. I write for me. I no longer care about what my family thinks and I am doing what makes me happy. If it turns into a new career for the second half of my life, fantastic.
When we are young we make career decisions based on any number of reasons, all mostly wrong. We are too young to know what is truly important and only experience teaches us otherwise. At least it has been that way for me. There are many great authors who started their writing careers late in life, so I am in good company. Mark Twain didn’t start until he was 41. Marcel Proust, age 43 and Henry Miller, age 44. J.R.R Tolkien (a man after my own heart) started at 45 and Raymond Chandler started at 51.
It was my husband who finally convinced me to take those ideas and start turning them into actual stories. And I owe him a debt of gratitude for that. So, being the computer nerd that I am, I bought a copy of Scrivener. It is definitely my writing tool of choice. I love the way I can organize my thoughts with it. It just works for me.
I didn’t quit the day job. I write in my off hours or at lunch. I also use EverNote, a tool I can’t live without. Regardless of what electronic device I have with me be it phone, tablet or laptop, I can still write. I make notes when something hits me and I develop ideas often on the fly. Yes, I am definitely a pantser.
I have an abundance of stories and will be filling these pages with references to them as I get them published. I decided to go the Amazon publishing route. I’ve read the pros and cons of both traditional publishing vs self-publishing and while traditional publishing may be what most chose, I decided to go the self-publishing route. Only time will tell if that was a mistake. I write because I love it. I just wanted my stories to get out there. And I am excited to see where this journey will take me.