Write about something you now know that you wish you knew earlier in life. How could this knowledge have helped you?
This should be simple enough. I had inklings, when I was younger, of what I wanted to do with me life. Hints that made me work hard in school, pay attention to teachers, do my homework (mostly) and study for exams. I wanted to be a nurse first of all, then I wanted to be a vet. Being a vet held out for years and years and years, probably until the start of GCSEs actually and then I got a bit stuck. So I went through uni (eventually) and picked a subject that I knew I would enjoy; Geology.
Problem is, at that point, I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be a writer. This might feel like something of a cop-out answer to this question, but do try to stay with me here. I’ve talked before about writing from a very early age and RPGs and so on. But I never knew then that I wanted to make a career out of it. I knew that I wanted to write a book and get it published. That was all. Now… however many years on I know that it isn’t just something I want to do because its cool; its the career I want. Professional writer of fantasy and vamp-fiction. That is what I want. And I feel that if I had known that before I went to university I might have put up a stronger fight when picking the degree subject I wanted.
My first instinct was creative writing. I didn’t care where it would take me, or what it involved, but I wanted to do creative writing. I was 18, writing was cool, I was preparing to approach agents again and I had a version of Silk Over Razor Blades which, at the time, I was happy with. But long, drawn out conversations with my parents made me think about it more. What do you do with a BA in creative writing (hehee, Avenue Q)? Where does it take you? What doors does it open? At that point I knew too little about the publishing world and what fields actually require writers that I couldn’t come up with an answer. And that frightened me. I didn’t know where I was going to end up after university; it didn’t seem wise to me, to choose a degree that might leave me in a hole with nowhere to go.
So… I picked Geology. That lead to some weird conversations, again with my parents who couldn’t understand where Geology would take me either. But it was easy enough to answer those questions; city councils, oil companies, house corporations, even police agencies make use of geologists. Not necessarily the earth history part, but understanding the earth’s motions and habits and what moves where to make valuable mineral or oil deposits; that’s stuff everyone wants to know about. So I felt safe in taking that as a degree subject.
Half way through I knew I didn’t want a career in geology. I knew that I wanted to write for a living. Not just writing a book, experiencing crazy luck like some authors out there and making a few million from one tome. No, no, I wanted to write tens and tens of books, publishing them all, growing a following, having book signings, talking to fans, interviewing on radio stations and brining my take on various folk lore tales and urban myths to the fore. That is what I wanted.
Its now six years after I finished my degree. With the proof of Clash Of The Animal Kings, I am closer than ever to the goal I had way back when I was twelve; publishing a book for other people to read. As well as this, with a completed synopsis for Silk Over Razor Blades and my enquiry letter down, I’m just two steps away from beginning to approach agents again, only this time with a product I know for a fact has a place in the market and will sell wonderfully, if only someone will give it a chase. If I had known nine years ago that it was possible to get to this stage, I would have taken the creative writing course. It might not have helped, at least not insofar as taking me straight into a writing job, instead of where I am currently (though I do a lot of writing in my current role), but it might have given me early contact to writing groups, other authors, bloggers, and people of a similar interest that I might have learned what I’m capable of a whole lot sooner.
There we are. Perhaps not the sort of answer you were looking for, but I am a writer; this blog is about writing. I do try to link back to the core of this site as and when I can. ^_^
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.