Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July

by Allison Pang

First off, Happy 4th of July to our American readers!

I'm going to try to keep this post short and sweet as I'm currently on my yearly beach hiatus and enjoying a little fun in the sun. (Honestly, I've just been sitting around and reading and /or writing on the beach. It's been very much needed.)

Looking at this week's theme, I'm not sure I really consider myself a "career writer" yet. In some ways I feel it's more of an "elevated hobby." Yes, I've sold some books and I'm working on new ones, but there's always been a bit of holding my breath to see if the rug gets yanked out from under me about the whole thing. One of these days I'll have to get over that - the pipe dream is to do the "full time writer" thing, but I've got a ways to go before that's a real possibility.

As far as when I decided I wanted to be a writer? I did some writing in middle and high school, but I wasn't writing all the time - just here and there. I was mostly a reader more than anything, and any thoughts I had of going to college for something along those lines were squashed because my parents convinced me it wasn't a practical choice. So I did the safe thing and headed into the sciences. (Ha ha, that Marine Biology degree comes in soooo handy these days, let me tell you.)

My senior year of college found me sputtering a bit trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. I took some Creative Writing courses and discovered very quickly that I wasn't a literary writer. The classes themselves weren't particularly useful when it came to the idea of getting published and I just figured it wasn't a good fit for me.

So I stopped writing completely for the next 12 years or so and just moved on with my life. Did the marriage and baby thing and the practical day job thing and figured that was what it would be.

Except at some point I started playing in online play-by-post games - most of them were in D&D type settings and I discovered that I really liked writing in them. (And that I wasn't half bad at it either.) I decided that maybe I *could* do this. And from there I started a collaboration that went nowhere...but the offshoot of that was that I began investigating what it took to get published. Information that had seemed esoteric and hard to come by 12 years before, was suddenly available on the internet - forums, writer groups, and finding other like-minded individuals - everything was right there.

I started writing what would become A Brush of Darkness during this time - it was supposed to be my "learning" book, something I could use for workshops to help me learn my craft. But it started winning contests, helped me get an agent and sold within six months of finishing it.

So I'm not sure I really "decided" to make writing a career so much as I stumbled into it and got really lucky.

The rest remains to be seen. :)

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how much of it was luck for you, Allison. I think your talent did it more than anything.