First,let me say right up front.I don't think writer's choose their profession,the profession chooses them. Writers can't not write!I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't make up stories and direct my friends in acting act the story stuck in my young head. I was a bit of a tyrant.I loved to write,poems,stories,songs everything but term papers where the subject was chosen for me.I was such a rebel. I received an A on my senior term paper. However, my teacher had marked it down to a big red C- because I had chosen to write the paper with a twist. Including my interpretation of the story of the Scarlet Letter as a Poe/ Derleth like horror story.My stepbrother had introduced me to these wonderful authors when I was eleven,E.A.Poe,August Derleth,R.Heinlin, and others were writing Gods to me,still are.
I've added many more since then:Nora Roberts,Anne Bishop,Stephen King,Jean Auel, ThomasHarris,J.D.Robb,Tolkien,Fitzgerald,Hemingway,Michael McDowell,Jane Austin,etc.I retired as a hospice nurse after thirty years and began to write. Oh how I loved writing my first novel,HOME AGAIN. based loosely on my life and how I wish it had turned out. I loved writing that book and the words and characters sprang to life under my two finger typing. I was and still am,very computer challenged.I can do basic things,but RTF format,attaching files,etc.baffle me.I struggle daily with my computer handicap.But I digress.Then I joined RWA(Romance Writers of America)
A fantasic,supportive organization of writers,published and unpublished.Then the reality hit me of the Craft Of Writing. I had no idea there were rules in writing that transcended mere grammar and sentence structure.I began to read how to books.Plot points,sentence structure,acts 1,2 3. Character arcs,on and on. I was so overwhelmed I stopped writing for a weeks. I received wonderful feedback from members but it didn't help. For the first time in my sixty plus years,I could not face writing a word.Nothing would form in my head and the stories and words stopped.Then a wonderful member of RWA emailed me this message. Toss out the how to books and trust your instincts! How often did Austen,Poe,King,Fitzgerald,Tolkien,King or Shakespeare let a book tell them how to write.Find the place in your story that excites you and write! I did and still do.