Here’s where I’m supposed to say, “I knew I wanted to be a writer from the minute I picked up one of those tree-stump size pencils given to toddlers!”
Except that I didn’t.
I knew I loved to read—fairy tales, long Victorian novels, anything by Joan Aiken, and for one very strange year (6th grade), every self-help book ever published on the subject of split personaliy disorders.
(For the record, I do not have a split personality. I do, however, sometimes fantasize about being able to step into a different persona when needing to deal with something unpleasant. Could this be the seeds of a writer’s instincts?)
I also knew that writing came more easily to me than anything containing, say, a numeral or a plus or minus sign.
Being descended of a refugee mother (who fled WWII Lithuania) and a Depression-baby father, however, the question was not, “What do you love to do?” but “How will you earn a living at it!?”
Next step: Law school. Next step after that: the soul-numbing world of corporate law. Not for long! Next, happier step: Discovering immigration law, and the power of presenting people’s stories of persecution to a judge or government officer, in order to help the applicant gain asylum. Oops, sorry Mom and Dad, one can’t make a living at that.
Somewhere along the way, I began to realize that bringing stories to life, whether real or imagined, was what I wanted to do the most.
I’m now a writer by day (putting legal concepts into plain English at Nolo, which you can find out more about here) and, during every bit of free time, crafting stories for children—some published, most notably Mossby’s Magic Carpet Handbook, a creative mix of fantasy and science—and many others yet to be brought into the world.