I have always been a writer.
When I was 8 or 9 years old, I would read books about detectives and rewrite the stories to make them more exciting. I would write crime scenarios (no gore, just stolen teddy bears and cookies missing from the jar type of things) and give them to my parents so they could solve them. I tried my hand at writing comics, but that died the second I realized how horrible I was at drawing.
A few years later, I started getting up before my father did so I could get to the morning paper first. I always began with the sports section. When I found out that writers were being paid to follow the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Expos around the continent and write articles about the games, I couldn’t believe it. There was a way to earn a living while writing? Where do I sign up?
In high school, I joined the school newspaper. My first gig, like so many other writers. But that wasn’t enough. When my father bought our first computer, a friend of mine installed some hockey and baseball simulation games. After running the simulations, I would write newspaper articles about the games I had played on my computer. Nobody would read them, but I still had a lot of fun with it. I regret not hanging on to those papers, though. It would have been fun to read them again, 25 years later.
During my last year of high school, I wrote a short, one-act play for drama class. It was inspired by a very popular stage play which had been running for a long time here in Québec, but which I had never seen. It made everybody in class laugh to tears, so I was thrilled.
Still chasing my dream of becoming a sportswriter, I studied communications in Cegep (in Québec, we have five years of high school, followed by two or three years in Cegep, followed by university). Things didn’t go according to plan, and I started to lose interest in my studies. I finally dropped out during my first semester in university and started selling computers full-time.
Even though I was out of school, I kept writing fiction. A short story I had written in French class became a novel. I met a man who was trying to break into screenwriting and picked his brain for hours on end. Then I saw Good Will Hunting and The Usual Suspects. Now I wanted to write screenplays and win an Oscar, just like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Christopher McQuarrie did.
Eventually, I ended up going back to school while working full-time. In June 2006, I earned a degree in translation from McGill University. This is about the time I started toying with the idea of becoming a freelancer. I gave it a shot, on a part-time basis at first. Life being what it is, I had to let that go after a few months.
Now, many years later, I’ve come full circle: I’ve gone and quit my 9-to-5 job in cubicule hell to become a full-time freelancer. It was a long time coming, and many sacrifices had to be made, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!