I started writing when I was a kid. I used to collaborate with my friends when I was in high school and we’d come up with some pretty interesting play scripts. In fact, we came up with one so funny and “interesting” about the teachers that it was banned.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Image by davidking via Flickr

Yes, banned. But it was hella funny. I still crack up when I read it to this day.

That was way back in like 1969, right? So, writing for me is a lifelong practice.

But I didn’t get into writing seriously until my daughter was small, as I’ve mentioned. That was in the late ’80’s, so like 20 years ago. It all started when I was reading books to Shannon every day and figuring I could do just as well myself. Hmm… Wasn’t that easy. You really do have to study HOW to write before you can do it properly.

And all writing — fiction of nonficiton — requires research to be sure you’re getting the facts right.

I remember taking out stacks of books from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. We had a local library, but it was in the suburbs and not extensive. So, I’d drive to Oakland and get those stacks of books I mentioned. And I’d study a topic before writing about it… Not extensively, but I wanted to be sure that if I was writing a story about skiing that I had all my terminology correct.

Today, of course, things are much easier. We have this most excellent creation called “the Internet,” and God knows I adore it. You can find almost anything you need to write well online, including primary source materials like diaries, government documents and images, too. I remember having a hell of a time nailing those down with the permissions to use them. It took a WHOLE lot os damned time, I can tell you.

So, thank you lucky stars! You are a writer in the modern world! Congratulate yourself for being born at the right time.

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