It's much more interesting for me to think that taking a chunk of experience and mushing it up together with other things that are inventible, remembered from some other time or stolen from other people's stories... and see if I can make it into something that works, an object, a little machine that runs.
I pretty much always knew I wanted to be a writer. I was writing goofy stories when I was 7 or 8. That was what I call 'wishful-thinking writing.' I grew up in the city and always wanted a horse, but there was no way I was getting a horse. So I wrote all these stories about kids who had horses. It's still fun entering these other worlds.