I’ve had an interest in writing since my elemenetary school days.  This is how my life as a writer has evolved throughout the years.

The Early Years

I was selected to attend a Young Writer’s Conference in sixth grade.  The conference was geared to 4th through 6th grades, and since I wasn’t selected in 4th or 5th grade, I assume that the writing bug must have hit me in sixth grade.

From day one, I wanted to be a fiction writer.  My earliest report cards contain comments about me drifting off into my own world at times.  The job of a fiction writer is simply to drift off in those dream worlds and write down what happens.  I’ve always been pretty proficient at non-fiction, but have never found it as interesting as fiction.

Most of my earliest stories were about sports.  This makes sense, since I was a huge sports fan (some things never change).  My teacher told me that she’d select me for the writer’s conference (a day away from school!) if I proved that I could write a decent non-sports story.  I wrote a story about Bigfoot.

I don’t remember there being much emphasis on creative writing in my junior high and high school years, so I didn’t write a lot, although I did read hundreds of books during these years.  The one story I do remember writing is “The Case of The State Vs. Santa Claus”, where the head elf goes on trial for vehicular manslaughter in the death of Grandma.

College

Reading textbooks during my college years tempered my enthusiasm for reading and writing.  Since I pursued a minor in English as well as degrees in business disiplines, I generally had quite a bit of reading on my plate.  When I wrote, it was usually discussing topics such as the mental state of Hamlet. 

When I did write, I made an effort to have some fun.  One of my freshman composition papers discussed basebal’sl anti-trust exemption.

I wrote a handful of stories during this time frame, but I don’t have copies of many of them any more.

Post-college

For several years after college, I basically stopped writing altogether.  Every couple of years, I’d get to itch to write, hammer out a couple of stories, and go into hiberation again.

Eventually, I fell into a group of friends who did dinner and a movie once per week.  At some point, I became the organizer of events, and began inject a bit of flair into them.  This is a dinner invitation from a few years back.  Bob Inferapels stars as “pudgy man with a limp”.

You reach tentatively toward the door.  It creeks as you open it.  Once inside, you are treated to the pungent aroma of the roasted, rotted, flesh of small mammals.  In the back, you see the milk maids turning cow and goat milk into fetid cheese.  A gardner whistles a drinking song while violently slicing vegetables into tiny chunks.  The serving wench balances eight mugs of ale on her tray.  An angry chef shouts orders above the fray, but nobody appears to be listening.
 
You look down at the parchment once more.  Could this den of inequity be the right place?  Have you been lured into this location by a highwayman with larceny in his heart?
 
You peer around the corner.  Ah, you see the tall man in spectacles.  And there, leaning against the wall, is the pudgy man with the limp.  They are listening intently to their feudal lord.  As you enter the room, the trio quickly looks up … they are aware that their plans are now in great danger.

Beginning Anew

In 2008, I received encouragement from a friend to launch a blog.  Blogs were completely foreign to me at this point.  I was aware of the concept, but hadn’t paid attention to how prevalent they had become.  It seemed like a great way to get immediate feedback on my writing.  One thing that I had always disliked about the writing process was inability to get quality feedback.

I jumped in head first and began writing as many as seven articles per week, on topics as diverse as politics, sports, and personal finance.  A few months later, I began featuring a short story every week.  Fiction Friday is on hiatus for a while so that I can focus on some other fiction projects, but it allow me to work on my writing technique.

Eventually, The Soap Boxers grew beyond a simple excercise to work on my writing technique and became the site you see today.

The Professional

In 2011, I was approached and asked if I would consider doing some freelance writing.  I had never really considered it, but decided to give it a shot.  I’d be doing the work for someone I considered to be a friend, so I was confident that it would be a good working relationship.

When the first payment hit my account, it was official – I was a professional.  I wasn’t getting rich from my writing yet, but I was getting paid – and that’s the first step. 

Helping Others

I’ve had a lot of help in recent years.  People that I have never met in person – but have come to know as friends – have donated thousands of dollars of expertise.

I’m trying to pay this forward.  In addition to trying to trying to launch a few of my own projects this year, I am assisting a few other writers in their efforts to launch eBooks.  At the moment, I’m volunteered to help at least four other writers get their books into print (well, ePrint, anyway).  For the writers, this will be a completely turnkey operation.  They had over a Word document and a cover image to me, and a few days later, their book will appear on Amazon.
 

 

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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