Tinkered with writing since highschool. Never much went in for the starving writer routine so I missed that step. I actually wrote under many names for those women's pulp romance magazines. Then I did trade work for several gay pubs. Trade means I write and they give me free copies.
There is a part of me that does not see the paid author who people buy books, but when I see some books are written and the authors paid - hmmmm. Then why not me.