I didn’t go to university. When the time came to make those decisions I was taken into the guidance councillor’s office in my small town school, where she asked me what I wanted to do as my career. I told her I wanted to be a writer. She replied that I couldn’t be a writer, they didn’t make any money. So offered, prostitute. She gasped and said I couldn’t be that either. I told her, since she wouldn’t be satisfied with anything, I was leaving. I never got the university information. I had no idea how to apply. I had no money to go even if I could figure it all out on my own. And I didn’t even know they taught any kind of writing at university anyway. Had I known, I may have actually tried to figure out how to get there. Instead I moved into a small, one room apartment in Calgary, with the bathroom down the hall and a couple fighting in the next room, because it sounded like a place a writer could be born. Then I wrote. I wrote every day, two to twelve hours a day. I wrote plays to start with. Then I traveled and wrote novels. I moved to Montreal, not speaking any French and lived in the slums and wrote more. I sought out experiences and interesting people. I figured I’d be decent by the time I hit forty. Around thirty I decided to learn how to get published. And true to my career trajectory, I began to get published around forty. (I did have a few plays produced before then). Now I write full time and I’m working on getting an agent. I teach writing to youth and tell them that there are classes in University that teach all kinds of writing. I encourage the kids to go to university. I don’t know if it will do anything for them, or if it would have done anything for me. Maybe it would have speeded up my learning curve. I can’t say, because I never went. But I’m pretty happy with how my writing life is and all the experiences I’ve had working to get where I am.
Writer, Teacher, Mutant. What more could you want?