Although I’ve been noodling around with fiction and essay writing for a long time, I didn’t start taking it seriously until last year. There is a note in my Quo Vadis on June 15, 2011: “My first day as a real fiction writer.” There is a heart next to it.

As a now-serious creative writer, I can tell you that I write nearly every day; one of my professors in grad school, novelist Larry Watson, told us he writes every single day, which I didn’t fully understand at the time. Not that he is, but in my case I’m too afraid that if I don’t write nearly every day, I will fall into my old habit of dreaming about writing fiction and not writing it.

I have attended a fair number of writing conferences and writing classes. What I am most proud of is: Attending the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa five times. Studying with novelist David Payne there. Joining the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). Going to their Chicago conference in March 2012. Receiving valuable, well-reasoned criticism from the Milwaukee Writers Workshop, even though they write steampunk and I don’t. Meeting authors whose work I admire at events at my favorite indie bookstores. Eating one of Anne Lamott’s homemade lemon cookies as she told me, “Yes. Do it.” The semester I studied with Larry Watson at Marquette University. Earning my master’s degree in English there.

Every day I write, I am also simultaneously reading one novel or book of short stories and one nonfiction book or magazine article about writing craft. I read literary journals, magazines, Web sites, and blogs. I have read Dear Sugar’s The Rumpus Advice Column #48. I have The Mug.

In 2012 my goal is to finish and submit two short stories or essays, preferably three. Thus beginning the long process of finding a place to get published, being rejected, and keeping the faith. I am totally up for it. It’s too late to go back now.

I use Twitter to follow authors, publishers, bloggers, and literary journals. You can find me there @grahamcrobin

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