I always dreamed I’d be one of those whiz kid writers, popping out a best seller before I was 25. After all, I grew up with people telling me I wrote very well, which did nothing to dim the natural confidence of youth.
But somewhere along the way, I got caught by the money bug. Maybe it was being somewhat poor in the early years, but I vowed I would always be able to support myself, never depending on marriage or family to do it for me.
So I channelled my love of reading and writing into a dual career as a librarian and technical writer. These were later seamlessly combined when the field of knowledge management became a big deal. Then, when my second marriage turned out to be an international one, I had to move my life to England and rebuild my career from the bottom up.
Suddenly I was in my late fifties and, barring the occasional class in creative writing, without anything creative to show for it (but a decent bank balance). Post-Covid, when I found myself crying on the way to a perfectly nice job managing a university library, I knew I’d hit the corporate wall. It was time. And thanks to that decent bank balance and an understanding spouse, I was finally able to retire from paying work and concentrate on my writing.
Was it worth it? Well, I would have loved to be that young wunderkind, especially since it was easier to get a traditional publishing deal in those days without being named Richard Osman. But all in all, yes it was. I have so much more experience to draw from now (as you will see when my murder mystery is published, about an American who moves to England), and I am better able to handle the slings and arrows that come with trying to get something published. Self-publishing has come a long way since then, so much so that I quit writing to agents early on and decided to do it myself. I don’t have to worry about it being a living now, I can write because I love it.
The dream may have been delayed, but I thank those ubiquitous lucky stars that I’m at last getting to live it. And I think my books will be the better for it, so maybe you’ll thank them too!