My long-running joke is that I never really became a good writer until I came out. Technically, I put together one good short story before I officially came out (which was actually published by Carve), but the original draft was written when I was falling in love with a woman for the first time. Much of how I was writing then was in response to the feelings I had for her. They made me question how I was living my life and caused a huge shift in how I viewed the world. It also spawned a divorce, a thousand-mile move, and a total career change.