For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write. My preference is fiction; even as a child I wanted to create stories. I started making up my own "episodes" for TV shows I enjoyed. (I have since learned that this is called "fan fiction", and there is a ton of it out on the Internet. If you have a favorite TV show or movie, look on Fan Fiction.net to see if they have it there. I've read many stories on that site for shows I love. Some are amazingly good. Some are abysmally horrible. Most are somewhere in between.)
But I digress. The point is I started to make up stories. At first, I used a tape recorder and "dictated" my tales. Then I moved on to completely original fiction and writing on paper. Later still (much, much later!), I switched to writing on the computer.
I was probably in about third or fourth grade when I announced to my parents that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. God bless them, they never once told me what a completely unreasonable, outlandish dream that was. They honestly seemed to believe that I would someday "make it." I don't know that I ever told them how much I appreciated the fact that they didn't shoot me down, so here is public acknowledgement and a great big thanks.
I have by no means "made it" now. But in the last few days, two things happened. One, a random stranger emailed me about how much he liked this blog and how well-written he thought it was. He wants to advertise here. I have not decided whether to accept his offer, but I am incredibly flattered nonetheless.
The second thing is by far the cooler. On Money Saving Mom's blog, she mentioned a company called Textbroker International. I applied and sent in a writing sample. I received the highest rating possible for a first-time review. I applied for my first assignment. The client bought my article, no revisions necessary. I am now officially a "paid" writer. Don't get me wrong: I got paid very, very little for this article. But I got paid. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about that. I can now browse other assignments at Textbroker...and continue to get paid for them. I feel like I am finally starting to fulfill the dream I had as a kid. It feels pretty good.