I started submitting stories for publication when I was about 15, but it was many years before I sold anything. I don’t make my living writing science fiction, so in that sense, I’m still not a pro.
Probably the most formative experience was reading the ‘Foundation’ trilogy when I was about twelve years old. That wasn’t the first science fiction I had ever read, but it’s something that stands out in my memory as having had a big impact on me.
Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know. – Ted Chiang