I've worked several different paid and volunteer jobs and traveled around North America and Europe, and given blood several times.
I'm from Oregon and have spent years living in Ireland, two of the greatest places on Earth.
I'm a happily lifelong childless person who's oft enjoyed being single and independent--a fact I mention only to remind everyone that all of us must live our own lives in a way that's right for us. (A fact I have many times been personally attacked for--by women, not men.)
I believe there is no point in writing unless what is created could only have come from you. The books I've made and my author image were created outside anyone's mainstream. The intention was to create completely unique art.
I accomplished exactly what I set out to. I have been made proud of and humbled by my "gift" as a writer. More than anything, I want my art to change those it touches in some significant, irrevocable, positive way.
For example, when I was editing my novel 8 Days a Week, since I couldn't afford a professional editor I asked some writer friends of mine to be "test readers". One friend, in his 50's, who was divorced, was inspired by the book to reach out to his adult daughter and try to reconcile their strained relationship. He succeeded and thanked me for it, repeatedly. They have had a much better relationship ever since. That is the kind of thing I think any artist wants.
(And it was quite an experience at 26 years old.)
True writers aren't manufactured inside the cage of college walls, nor the confines of editors' egos. (That being said, I did go to college, and I have had my work published in various places. But I began writing well before college and I'm a writer in spite of college and not because of it.)
I believe a person's background and experiences say more about their writing than elitist educational or publication credits. For those interested, though, my publication credits and an idea of my college education are covered on page 1 of this site. What's relevant about my life in relation to my writing is of course experience.
For more, here is an author interview with Writing through the Body.