I had a young high school girl interview me the other day. Among the questions, and one of the most commonly asked questions I field, is "how did you know you wanted to be an author?" It's a common question, not only for me, but for other authors/songwriters/artists, etc.
There are just some things in life you know. When I was in high school, I desperately wanted to be a professional tennis player, but that wasn't my calling. It was an ambition. I had talent, I did well, but there comes a point in time when you have to face the reality of it. One injury and your career is over, often before it even starts. But writing? I've been writing as long as I could hold a pencil.
I saw an interview with Billy Joel once where he'd been asked that question. His response was that if you weren't sure, then you should look for something else to do. Likewise, I have a very dear friend who has always wanted to be a musician, IS a musician. While he hasn't "made it big," there is no Plan B. That's all there is. Something he was born to do.
We aren't always able to make a living using the gifts we've been given. Being an author is not a financially lucrative field. For most of us, that's not why we do it anyway. We do it because we can't not write. It's inherent. Innate. Inborn. and a bunch of other "in" words.
I was actually surprised the first time I realized that other people don't see things the way I do. I was getting a haircut and my stylist was asking me about my books and she told me she couldn't begin to even name characters, much less the scenarios that go into plotting a story. Another frequent question, "where do you get your ideas?" For me and most authors I know, it's a case of fertile, and often overactive, imagination. There is a story everywhere I look. It's hard for me to imagine that other people don't play make believe the same way - that's all it really is at the end of the day, make believe.
Still on deadline at the day job. Have to make it through the end of April. The unfortunate part about that is that it requires a lot of my attention, leaving little time for my imagination to go strolling (I still have to pay the bills). Oh, I have story ideas! There's no shortage of that, but right now, there isn't time to spend developing them. Just a few more weeks and I can open up the floodgates and let those ideas loose.