My Love Affair With the Written Word

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve loved words. Reading came first. I loved stories, but my family didn’t have enough time to read to me as much as I wanted. So when I had an epiphany at the age of four while watching a phonics segment on Sesame Street, I immediately ran to grab one of my storybooks and proceeded to teach myself how to read. I still remember how shocked my grandmother was when I insisted I read to her.

After that I was voracious, reading everything I could get my hands on, eventually finding my mother’s collection of Barbara Cartland novels. By then I was in the first grade and my teacher found the novel and immediately called my family and insisted they provide me with more appropriate reading material. That is what led to my love of science-fiction, when my mother gave me her copy of “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. That novel still remains my favorite sci-fi book of all time.

I did enjoy making up stories, but I never wrote them down when I was a child. We couldn’t afford to buy a lot of paper and pencils, as we were barely making ends meet as it was. So, when I wasn’t reading, I would tell stories to myself and I became quite adept at daydreaming. I was quite the prolific book report writer in school and I struggled with how to properly summarize a book when there were so many amazing parts in each and every one of them. How could I leave any of them out?

As I grew older, I didn’t initially pursue a career in writing. I studied to become a teacher, although I always excelled at any class that required written papers or essays. The written word also helped me learn how to be less shy around people and improved my communication skills through the wonder that was the internet. In a college computer lab, I discovered something called Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, and suddenly I was having conversations and debates with people across the country and across the world.

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Fast forward twenty years and I have spent a significant amount of time writing. I spent a lot of time having debates in chat rooms and forums. I blogged frequently. In my career working on an online marketing team, I wrote a lot of procedural and training manuals and helped my department pass the ISO 9001 certification. As part of my current consulting career, my favorite part is when I get to write up reports and analyses for my clients.

In the past two years I have a new found love with the written word when I discovered a passion for writing fiction. I began with fan fiction, and I have been surprisingly prolific in that area, having to date written over 585,000 words, averaging 22,500 words per month. That’s slightly less than half of a novel, every month. I don’t know exactly where the spark came from, but I can’t seem to turn it off, nor do I want to.

From this newfound love of writing fan fiction, I began to get the ideas for an original fiction. I have since written my first science-fiction novel, which I have been in the process of editing before I venture forth to find a literary agent to represent me. I have enough ideas that I think I could easily write a series of about 3-5 novels. Even if I ultimately can’t find an agent or publisher, I have already decided to self-publish because I want to share my creation with the world in some form of fashion.

I don’t know how far I’ll get with my novels and writing, but one thing is for certain. I will never fall out of love with the written word.

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