I’ve been remarkably blessed. I had over five years as a features reporter for the Chicago Sun Times with bylines and deadlines, back in my 20 when I was still finding my voice. I did well, was “commissioned” to write three books that sold well…made a name for myself…and then quit to move West and write for myself. Fiction and everything else, just to feel what it was like NOT to write on deadline, with rules and restrictions. Some things, I sold. Some things, I just enjoyed writing and put away.
The two experiences taught me that first and foremost the act of writing is what I love most. I’ve loved it since I was a wee tot babbling little stories to herself and “writing” them down on the backs of envelopes or anything else I could find. Before I knew how to write, I wrote.
So the answer to most of those questions is “Absolutely.” But I’ve had my time in the sun, too, which makes that a lot easier than it might be for someone else. Even so, it’s the act of writing or…entering “the dream of the work” as Walter Mosley put it, that I love most. I do it every single day, for hours, and it is the only “reward” I need now.