I love to read.
As a kid, I used to bike to the library every other day. I’d check out my maximum of 3 books at a time, bike home, and dig right in.
Mystery novels. Horror stories. Historical biographies. Speculative and experimental fiction. I couldn’t get enough.
Powell’s, the local bookstore, held occasional book signings with popular autographs. I went to one a month, collecting mountains of autographed tomes and bolstering my love for the written word.
One day, in high school, I finally decided I wanted to be a writer. I mentioned it to my parents, my friends, my teachers. I started adding “publish a novel” to my bucket and new years’ resolutions lists.
Writing is Hard
I have no less than 5 unfinished novels in my Dropbox. They’re all fun stories, and if you ever want to hear what they’re about I’ll tell you.
But when it comes to storytelling, I can get a bit distracted. I can type quickly, but not nearly as fast as I think. As a result, I’ve usually burned through a particular story at least 10 times before I finish typing the first half – and my brain has moved on to something newer and more exciting.
In college, I met an amazing writer in my freshman dorm. She was incredibly talented and wrote hundreds of pages of fan fiction in the universe of a series we both enjoyed. Like me, she wanted to be a writer – unlike me, she was actually writing.
When she suggested I try NaNoWriMo one year to get started, I signed right up – and wrote 200 words total during the month of November.
A few years later, I started a publishing company to make good on a promise I’d made to publish her first book. I’ve now published four books by three separate authors.
I have yet to finish one of my own.
I got involved in WordPress originally because of its promise to “democratize publishing.” Honestly, I’m still not quite sure what the rest of the community means by that – or if we’re living up to that ideal – but it still appeals to me.
I work on software that lets anyone publish their work online, quickly, without needing to learn how to hack code, set up a server, or seek out a medium through which to publish. I use the software daily so I can understand the pains people go through using it.
This also means I’m producing a lot of written content.
Once upon a time I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a writer because I loved books and, eventually, began to run out of the kind of things I wanted to read.
I wanted to become a writer so I could produce content for people like me. So I could write things I would enjoy. So I could, one day, meet someone who’d read and enjoyed my work and be able to have a conversation about how they felt about it.
I became a writer so I could join the conversation. How about you?