Thursday, August 20, 2009

What are my qualifications?

Quite honestly, none.

I don't have an English degree, I never studied literature in college. I skimmed my way through High School English with C'd and D's and even flunked first semester English my senior year. I had to take correspondence course to pass and graduate.

With great trepidation (in case my old English teachers find out where I live) I can proudly say that I never once read a single novel that was assigned to me for English class in High School. (I should go back and read them now though).

"But Tom," you say "how could you possibly have passed your classes if you didn't even read the books?"

And I'd respond "I got lucky."
I'm one of those that can get better than average results by just taking a test. I look for patterns in the questions and answers and base my educated guesses off those. Half the time I'm able to find the answer to question #4 contained in the text of question #19. Half-assing it through school seemed to be a passion of mine and I performed admirably.
I did publish a few articles in the local small-town paper when I was in high school. So I can say I was published...but only barely.

I took some college classes for an IT degree (I'm currently employed as a Systems Engineer at a major IT firm.) But like in High School, college didn't appeal to me, I really did give it the "college" try but I never felt comfortable. See my bio post for more information.

So I have no formal education in writing, English, or publishing. I've never done any for a career, so what makes me think I can write a novel? Well, I think anyone can. As I've been reading up on the writing profession, I see some common threads: first off was tell everyone you're a writer; second was write as much as you can so you'll get better; and third was everyone has a story to tell.
I believe I have a story to tell too. It's been mulling over in my head for nearly two decades now and I think it's about time I got it down on paper and did something with it. I'm not afraid of learning new skills. I know my grammar, typing, punctuation, and organizational skills are very lacking but I'm hoping that with daily diligence and lots of practice, I'll get better each day.
My main motivation in this regard are fulfilling a life goal (you know those lists we all make when we're teenagers?) of being published. I believe marrying a french lingerie model was on there too, but I can't let Victoria's Secret detract me from life goals, can I? Of course I'd also love it if this launched into a new career for me, but I'm worrying about spewing out hundreds of pages, let's see how much work it is first.
Here's for dreams!

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