Today’s Aspiring Voices guest is the whip-smart Melanie Drake. I talked to her about her complicated writing process, scrutinizing readers for their reactions, and why she may someday be the rare writer/paleoanthropologist.

Prehistoric Art

Edoardo Forneris via Creative Commons

Paul: What was the catalyst that made you want to start writing seriously? Have you always considered yourself a writer or is it a relatively new thing in your life?

Melanie: I’ve considered myself a writer for a while, but it was only within the last two years that I began wanting to start writing seriously.  I was in an accident on my way to work one Saturday, and it made me realize how short life really is.  I want to spend the rest of my life doing something I love instead of being miserable doing something I hate just for money.

Paul: Wow, yeah. Sorry about the accident! So what do you do for a day job? Is it like writing is the one thing you can imagine being happy doing for a living or is it just one of the possibilities that you’ve decided to pursue for the time being?

Melanie: I currently work nights as a Customer Service rep answering phone calls, emails, and web chats and spend my days going to college full time.  There are only two jobs I can imagine being happy doing for the rest of my life. First is my writing, of course, as it is my first love.  The second would be a paleoanthropologist, which is the study of humans using fossils.

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