S.G. Browne

You Can Get Here From There

I didn’t always want to write.

In grammar school and junior high, I wanted to be a football player. A wide receiver. Maybe a defensive back. Except at age 14, I was 5’11” and 145 pounds and wasn’t exactly built for the sport. And I don’t like pain. So no NFL career for me.

In high school, I excelled at math. It came easy to me. I loved it so much that I figured I could parlay my aptitude into a career in engineering. This was because I really had no idea what I wanted to do and engineering seemed like a safe career path.

Problem was, I didn’t realize how much I hated physics. And thermodynamics. So after a year of floundering in science classes and watching my high school GPA drop more than a full point, I switched to a major in business. Still no thought of being a writer.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year at UOP, when I started reading a bunch of Stephen King, Peter Straub, F. Paul Wilson, Robert McCammon, and Dean Koontz that I first considered the idea of dabbling at writing. Actually, I can remember the moment when I wanted to become a writer.

I was sitting in my room, reading The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. While it’s not my favorite novel by either author, I got so caught up in the adventure unfolding within the pages that the world outside of the book ceased to exist. And I thought:  I want to make others feel like this.

I didn’t start pursuing a path of writing at that point but the idea was there. The following semester, I helped with my fraternity’s entry into UOP’s annual Band Frolic – a musical stage competition between all of the living groups (fraternities, sororities, dorms, etc.) Each group was responsible for a fifteen-minute skit that included dancing, singing, acting, and some semblance of a story. We came in second in the men’s category that year. We got screwed.

When the title of Band Frolic Director was passed down to me at the end of my sophomore year, I was now in charge of writing, directing, staging, choreographing, and costuming my fraternity’s Band Frolic. We came in first each of the three years I was director. And after the second year, I realized that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be creative in some way.

So I took a couple of writing classes, graduated with my BS in Business, eschewed by degree, moved to Hollywood and got a job working for Disney, and wrote some short stories and a couple of screenplays. After three years, I moved to Santa Cruz, where I wrote a few dozen short stories and the first of three unpublished novels and where I would eventually write my fourth novel, a dark comedy about zombies, titled Breathers.

So even if you don’t start out having any idea what you want to do, you can still get here from there.

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Filed under: The Writing Life — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 9:22 pm

5 Comments »

  1. This made me smile, remembering my own floundering back in HS. Though I can say with complete confidence, between about 10-12 yo I couldn’t make up my mind, so decided to have THREE careers, as a lawyer (boss people around, argue for fun) an interior designer (play with physical space!) and a Dallas cowgirl.*crickets*

    Comment by Karryn — April 6, 2011 @ 7:39 am

  2. Dude u have talent, for, writing no matter, what u did before, Breathers made me realize, as long as I had a heartbeat I could do anything, Thankyou, And Fated is super awesome I love the tailsman, but Fated is so much better, Keep kicking ass And ill yry not 2 kill anybody never know what your good at till u try it!!!!

    Comment by william ward — April 6, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

  3. Thanks for the comment, William. Glad you enjoyed the books.

    Comment by admin — April 7, 2011 @ 6:28 am

  4. Great post!

    Comment by Melanie — April 7, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  5. Thanks for the comments. For some reason my site has been dumping a bunch of valid comments into my spam folder, so I apologize if you don’t see them showing up. I’m checking my spam folder a little more diligently now.

    Comment by admin — April 8, 2011 @ 8:18 am

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