I truly believe in my heart that I will be a full-time author some day. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later. After all, I am actively, diligently working toward that goal. So let's hope that good things really do come to those who wait...and work their tails off.
When I do finally get "there," I know that I won't entertain ANY thoughts of "if only..." as in, "If only I could have done this 20 years ago, I never would have needed a 'real' job," just like my current hero, Richard Castle. No, I don't regret for a second having to work my myriad day jobs. I've made good friends, and I've learned a lot, about people, about politics, and about cool computer stuff. In fact, my current career -- information security and privacy -- has provided me with what I consider to be a valuable life skill for the high-tech world we live in now: a healthy sense of paranoia. Of course, as Dr. Johnny Fever once said, "When they are after you, paranoid is just good thinking."
For example, every now and then on my way to work, I pass a car which has several stick-figure family stickers on the back.You've probably seen them:
This car that I often see shows the "mommy" figure, two kids, and two pets.
Does this woman realize that she basically is advertising the fact that she's a single mom? Whether or not it's really true, it is a logical inference, based on the stickers. If I were a criminal, I might have another name for that: easy target. Clearly, one can't know whether she's a martial arts expert, or has a concealed carry permit. She might be formidible. But on the surface, she is saying, "I am alone."
And even if I were a non-violent criminal (i.e., not a kidnapper), I'd try to find out where that car goes every night, reasoning that the house almost certainly is vacant during the day, since she's clearly not a stay-at-home mom. To help with that effort, there also is a bumper sticker which displays the emblem of the school district they live in. Sure, it doesn't say what street; but it narrows down the search.
I hope this post doesn't come across as negative. Obviously, I'm not advocating violence or crime. But I am advocating caution and vigilance which, as an infosec pro, I have to exercise every day. I often have to put on a "black hat" in order to think about what sort of escapade a scammer might be dreaming up in order to separate our customers from their money. Similarly, as a writer of fiction, I frequently have to ask, "WWBGD?" (What Would a Bad Guy Do?)
The takeaway, I suppose, is to remember that if you can concoct an awesome fictional criminal attack, some real-world bad guy already has.
So be aware, and don't fall victim to some scheme that you thought was your personal property. Let's be careful out there, people.