I was a terrible student. Still, I managed to get into college, but my daydreaming threatened to sabotage me. I used behavior modification to break the cycle. I started by setting an arbitrary time limit on studying: for every 15 minutes of study, I’d allow myself an hour of daydreaming. I set the alarm.
I am a woman, and I am a Latina. Those are the things that make my writing distinctive. Those are the things that give my writing power.
I felt a failure because I couldn’t sustain myself from what I earned from my writing. My day jobs were what mattered, and it was hard to even get those because universities wouldn’t hire me as a real writer.
Writing is like sewing together what I call these ‘buttons,’ these bits and pieces.
In the business world, I did fairly well, but wasn’t happy. A bout of sciatica put me flat on my back. All I could do was read, listen to my mother’s stories about the Sandovals, and daydream: a return to self. My writing career had begun.
I always tell people that I became a writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library. I wanted to become a writer so I could see my name in the card catalog. – Sandra Cisneros