Growing up, I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I even toyed with the idea of studying anthropology before getting involved in the health and nutrition field. Since then, I've lived in six countries and done a lot of exploring – great for inspiration and a huge perk of writing full time.
I grew up surrounded by books – from Russian literature to fairy tales to horror. When I was 12, my mother had to sign a special form at our local library so I would be allowed to check out any books I wanted. The librarian would not let me borrow anything by Stephen King otherwise.
Q. What would it surprise others to know about you?
I lived in Siberia for three years. It was meant to be a one-year adventure teaching languages but I liked the place and ended up staying a lot longer. Winters are long and cold there (-40 F) and I loved it! After that, I spent time in Southeast Asia before settling in Europe to live among castles and cobblestone streets. Oh, and I've taken my dogs along every step of the way.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
It's never boring. As a freelance writer, I get to research and cover all kinds of topics – from technology to travel to medicine. I've been sent on assignments to Cambodia, Japan and Germany. I've written about meatless meat, breakthroughs in veterinary medicine, ethical clothing, professional cheerleading, and seed banking.
Q. Why do you think writers should take writing classes?
There's so much information out there, it can get overwhelming. If you're just starting out and want to make a living as a writer, the guidance of a professional can be invaluable. There are other benefits to taking writing classes as well: you get to ask questions and you can interact with other students. A good writing coach can point you in the right direction so you don't waste time in your path to becoming a published writer.
Q. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I'm big on setting goals, so for me, the best achievement is the one yet to come. I've done a few things I'm proud of, though, such as writing for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, and publishing a few books. Above all, I love that I'm able to write full-time, which is the one thing I truly always wanted to do.
A special thanks to Diana, for sharing her time and advice with Pen & Prosper readers today.
For those writers interested in transitioning to full-time status, Diana teaches a popular class "How to Quit your 9 to 5 and Freelance Full-time" at Coffeehouse for Writers.com.
Pen and Prosper readers are provided a $10.00 discount for CFW "Back 2 School" promotional, for registrations completed before September 5th.
Diana Bocco is a full-time freelance writer with credits in over 300 magazines, websites and newspapers around the world. Her work has appeared in Yahoo!, the Discovery Channel website, Marie Claire, Popular Mechanic, petMD, and more. She’s also the author of several books (both fiction and nonfiction). Diana is currently living in Prague and researching her next novel. You can find out more about her work on her website at www.dianabocco.com
Thoughts? How do you intend to invest in your educational needs as a writer this year?