I can write. Four years at the University of California, similarly at medical school, and three in residency taught me how to master the skill. Divorced with limited education and fewer resources, my mom struggled to raise six kids. She told me the most important thing she ever did was teaching me to read. It became my passion. As a child, I spent afternoons immersed in Perry Mason, Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, and Ellery Queen books—anything I could find. But I didn’t imagine becoming a professional author.
Writers were hermits who lived in seclusion, leaving their fortresses of aloofness only to bring forth glorious pieces of literature. It was a fantasy. In school, I devoured history and math, struggling to understand how to support myself with the former and master the latter. Despite my meager finances, I recognized medicine was my destiny. Decades as a physician, however, choked the creativity inside my core. From HEDIS metrics to patient scores, that gifted imagination waned. According to Merriam-Webster, a writer is an author, and an author is one that originates or creates something.
Twenty-five years later, fantasy morphed into reality. The internet became indispensable for my education. Resources like Authors Guild, Sisters in Crimes Guppy Chapter, and Alliance of Independent Authors replaced the American Academy of Pediatrics and Medscape as invaluable sources of information for this new career. I volunteered to host webinars for writing groups and, in return, gained knowledge about the business.
First step, decide if writing should be a profession or recreation. If I wanted this venture to replace my primary income, it would need a professional approach. As in medicine, I studied not anatomy, pharmacology, or physiology but grammar checking software, literary agents, and publishing.
Writing would become my second career. Medium, Mailchimp’s Tinyletter, and Patreon are examples of platforms where authors can publish articles. However, I preferred the novel format, and after two years of planning, in May 2022, my debut mystery, Murder is Revealing, will premier. Though I intend to pursue traditional avenues in the future, right now, self-publishing aligns with my ambitions.
This dream required time to blossom, influenced by my medical experiences and providing my craft with a distinct voice. By incorporating your particular life journey into writing, the reader experiences a unique individual perspective. Determine your writing desires, conduct research, and bring your story to fruition. Whether a hobby or occupation, it can be a rewarding exercise providing insight and adventure, an outlet to release frustration or escape grim realities. Write, the possibilities are many.
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