This post is part of the Origins Challenge Blog Series. Almost 200 blogs participating. Click here for the list. So the challenge is to blog about how we got started writing. This is an ironic date because writing about the origins of my writing on February 13th means I’m writing about origins on the day of my origin. Yes, February 13 is my birthday, so how’s that for interesting parallels?
I got started writing through play really. My mother says I never played with a toy the same way twice. I would get mad when the toys couldn’t do all the awesome things I imagined them doing in my mind. I’d get bored and move on.
On the playground at school, I organized elaborate make believe scenarios with my friends, from firefighters fighting fires to astronauts. I’d take charge and lay out the storyline and direct the actors. Amazingly they came back to bossy me for more.
In third grade, my friend Chris Marshall and I wrote our own stories for The Littles series of books about little mouse-like people living inside a human family’s house. We wrote book after book of them, so, as best I can remember, this was my official start to writing.
However, at the same time, I wrote my first song in kindergarten around the time I started piano lessons. So I’d been doing lyric writing and such for a while by the time Chris and I wrote those books. Which counts as the first? Chicken or egg, my friends.
Over time, my active imagination continued and I’d make up stories. My 3rd grade friend, Chris Marshall, and I got hooked on John Peterson and Roberta Carter Clark’s Littles children’s books and started writing our own sequels. That was my first dreams of being a professional writer and yes, despite my stand on fanfic, I did start there like so many.
As I watched TV shows, I’d make up stories and scripts for them: Emergency, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, L.A.Law, Life Goes On… This eventually led to spec scripts and film school, where I actually pursued a TV career. My most successful were scripts for L.A. Law and The Wonder Years.
The idea for my debut novel, The Worker Prince, came to me in high school while I wrote all those TV ideas. I even created my own TV show and wrote the first 13 scripts plus pilot for that and plotted out episodes for two whole seasons.
In college and grad school, I wrote three nonfiction books which never went anywhere, but then my devotionals started getting used a lot and I sold some of those. Eventually, I tried prose and The Worker Prince was the second novel I finished. So here I am. That’s the story of my origins as a writer.
I’m 43. This year will see publication of the second and third anthologies to feature short stories by me, one of which I edited, my second and third novels, and the first print magazine to feature one of my stories. So far the journey’s going well.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novel The Worker Prince, a Barnes & Noble Best SF Releases of 2011 Honorable Mention, the collection The North Star Serial, Part 1, and has several short stories forthcoming in anthologies and magazines. His second novel, The Returning, is forthcoming from Diminished Media Group in 2012. He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chatevery Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter, where he interviews people like Mike Resnick, AC Crispin, Kevin J. Anderson and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A frequent contributor to Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and SF Signal, he can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Excerpts from The Worker Prince can be found on his blog. Bryan is an affiliate member of the SFWA.