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Thread: How did you start writing?

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    How did you start writing?

    Not necessarily asking what the first thing you ever wrote was, but I've found that a good way for me to get past my writers block has been for me to actually look introspectively into my past to find out what got me into writing in the first place.

    So how did all of you get into writing to begin with? I'd like you to share your work if you happen to have it still lying around (unfortunately I don't.).

  2. #2
    Have pen, will travel Cindyt's Avatar
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    My third grade teacher assigned the class to write a short essay about a trip to New York. I wrapped the tourists sites in a Fannie-Hurst type tearjerker. (Probably saw Imitation of Life one too many times.) And I was hooked.
    The only thing you can't fix is a blank page.--Bonnie Hearn Hill

  3. #3
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
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    Pure chance! And a standardized exam, of all things! 2nd grade, you couldn't do anything complicated for 7/8-year-olds, so we were randomly assigned a fiction prompt ("Write about a door where one shouldn't be") or non-fiction ("Write about your favorite fruit or vegetable.") I got handed the fiction prompt, and I loved writing it so much, I went home and started writing my own stuff for fun. I'd been an avid reader, but never realized I could make up my own stories. Two and some decades later, I still love it.
    The insane who believe they are sane are crazy. The sane who know they are insane are writers.

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  4. #4
    I should be writing. Alpha Echo's Avatar
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    I honestly don't know. I feel like I've always been writing. I started sooooooooo many stories when I was very young. I was always dreaming up characters and ideas. I used to even lay in bed at night dreaming up new stories. (Can't do that anymore. Oh to be a child with no worries on the brain.) I even finished a few of those stories. I wish we'd had the computer and flash drives back then. One single place to store everything I've ever written. I have stuff everywhere, and I do not have my early stuff.
    "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible"
    T.E. Lawrence


  5. #5
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Turned 29... and had an oh-shit-I'm-nearly-30-but-haven't-written-stuff crisis.
    “Is it possible that the relationship between humanity and evil is similar to the relationship between the ocean and an iceberg floating on its surface? Both the ocean and the iceberg are made of the same material. That the iceberg seems separate is only because it is in a different form. In reality, it is but a part of the vast ocean.”
    -- Liu Cixin

  6. #6
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    The first thing I "wrote" was a babbling tale about children run amok in a supermarket - dictated into a My First Sony tape recorder when I was three. There were hot dog torpedoes involved.

    The first thing I wrote in words was the illustrated-in-crayon story of "Hawaiian Dave," when I was five. He lived in a pineapple a decade before SpongeBob, though it was on land, and he refused to clean his house until there was enough junk piled up that he used it to build a spaceship and move to the moon.

    I was a weird kid.

  7. #7
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    I "wrote" my first story when I was about 5, before I could read or write. I had insomnia, and my parents were tired of sitting up with me, so they said "Tell yourself a story." So I did. (I believe it had something to do with a dog and a cat who overcame their differences and fell in love and got married, and lived in a house with a white picket fence. We did not have a white picket fence or a dog, but we did have a cat.)

    I still do a lot of story spinning as I'm falling asleep.
    September goal: Produce a second draft: ​DONE ​and now on to the third draft!



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  8. #8
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    I tried to write my way out of the labyrinth of my childhood. After that, I just kept writing.
    **My 6th novel, PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE, releases February 6th, 2018! (LGBTQ Young Adult)
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  9. #9
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    My doctor told me writing would be a good coping skill. I guess I took it to the extreme. lol
    My blog Lists of YA (and Adult) Publishers that pay advances and are accepting unagented submissions

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  10. #10
    A seadog looking for crewmates Elenitsa's Avatar
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    In the first grade I wrote a story about a witch who flew above a man and turned him into a rabbit. Then... I just kept writing. It was playing with words instead of with dolls, and I loved it.

    http://beforethemast.b1.jcink.com/index.php
    -A swashbuckling adventures RPG, set in 1720 in West Indies, open since August 2010;
    winner of Distant Fantasies& RPG-D Member's Choice Award; RPG Conference's Originality Award; 2011 & 2012 Simming Prizes-

  11. #11
    Polydactyl Landshrimp underpope's Avatar
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    I believe the first book I ever wrote was "Tornado in the Sky", when I was six years old. I have no idea what that title means, but I'm sure it meant something to my young brain.
    -----
    Richard S. Crawford: Code monkey by day, word monkey by night
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    For your reading pleasure, a wee horror novella: The Winds of Patwin County

  12. #12
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    I've been writing since grade school, if not consistently. (One of my earliest writing memories is winning an honorable mention for a fantasy story I wrote in thirdish grade. I also remember noodling with typewriters in the basement, writing up tiny little books I hand-cut and stapled together - all of which have long since gone to the trash.) I don't remember exactly what started it or why... Reading's always been big in our house, so I guess I just internalized that.
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
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  13. #13
    figuring it all out hereticdoll's Avatar
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    I was working in a lab, testing the amount of toxicity levels that respirators could contain for the one-thousandth time. I felt accomplished, but empty. I went home and realized that I was suppressing for years my drive to create, and to write. So I sat down and wrote a book.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    First thing I remember writing was some kind of end of the world thing at around 6 or 7. I made lots of my own comic strips and short stories all the way into my teens. I wrote them all by hand, and then my notebooks got wet and so I started typing them. From there I gradually began building up toward novels, which I started writing, poorly, in college.
    Twitter @DarbyHarn

    'In this country … if you’re an artist, you’re guilty of a crime: not that you’re aware, which is bad enough, but that you see things other people don’t admit are there.' - James Baldwin

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Mary Love's Avatar
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    Trying to keep up with my younger sister. She could write beautifully and finished several stories and I couldn't. She no longer writes, but I'm still trying to show her up (I have a ways to go).
    Last edited by Mary Love; 09-14-2017 at 06:02 AM.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW
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    In terms of "serious" writing, I think it was an essay assignment, as a final, for a class in Philosphy as a senior undergrad. I took on an issue somewhat outside the bounds of the class itself, involving a controversial theory about human origins. I got caught up in reading background material, and really worked on the thing, scared crapless that it would be a disaster to turn in. But I turned it in anyway. The prof (Dr. Thomas Thompson, which I still remember) loved it, gave me an A, and made a point about taking me aside to say how much he liked the writing. It made me think I might be able to write good stuff.

    Alas . . .

    caw
    Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

    -- Terry Pratchett

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    I wrote poems in college. Then after I got married, I realised I couldn't get a job unless I applied for a work permit-- which involved parting from my new husband for five months. He gave me his old laptop, and while tinkering around with it, I decided to try writing an article for a website. I got paid 20 dollars, and then kept writing articles till an editor said my writing was too fanciful and poetic for a dry topic like domaining, and I should try out fiction. I joined a writing course, and 9 years later, I have a bunch of published short stories, and an agent.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    When I was five I wrote part of a superhero story, but that was as a result of parents and family encouragement (I used to make up lots of imaginary friends and probably bored my parents and other family half to death talking about them), so I'm not going to count it as my first solo attempt to write a story. At school in English, we were encouraged to write stories all the time, usually with a prompt from the teacher. One parents' evening comment from one teacher was that no matter what writing prompt she gave, I'd manage to set the story in ancient Rome. (I was fascinated (aka obsessed) with Roman history when I was 7-8.) I also made up loads of stories at home, all the time, relentlessly, mostly acted out by Lego people or other toys.

    My first 100% solo attempt to write a story was when I was 12, because I used to love writing stories at school but the teacher didn't set enough pieces of work that involved story writing. Instead it was boring stuff like writing book reports and business letters and stuff. Then I had a revelation - I could write at home. On my own. Whatever I wanted. It was an amazing revelation and I haven't stopped writing since then.

    My first stories when I was 12: one was a story about space pirates inspired by the 1980s computer game Elite. Another was about a boy called Jason whose dad beat him and he was taken into care. The only one of my early stories that I've actually kept is a novel length story I started writing age 13 about a boy whose older brother was a sort of mini Godfather of all the crime in the local area. It would've been an 18 certificate if it'd been made into a film*, full of drugs, violence, prostitution, abuse/manipulation, drug smuggling, guns, suicide, and "dark themes" (as the BBFC would put it). This is no reflection of my childhood though, which was pretty ordinary. I blame Shakespeare. I was trying to out-do him for number of suicides and the dead body count by the end of the story.

    *not that it would've been, because the quality of the actual writing was dire. My earliest novel-length stories were written in one single, huge paragraph with no regard for the rules of things like punctuation and spelling. I could read them, that's all that mattered.
    my blog - cave people and stuff - an imaginative look at palaeolithic life: http://cavepeopleandstuff.wordpress.com/

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW autumnleaf's Avatar
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    The first story I remember writing was when I was about 7 or 8. My family was on holidays (vacation) in Ireland, there was no TV and it rained all week, so I made up a story for my little brothers. It was about woodland animals having adventures (one of them went into space, I recall).

    See, boredom is good for children!
    https://taleswildatlantic.wordpress.com/
    I reject your reality and substitute my own
    ~ Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW LeftyLucy's Avatar
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    From the time I was very, very little, I would make up stories and try to turn them into books. Before I could write, I would draw pictures and then ask my mom to staple the pages together so I could tell the story. My stories were always about everyday life, not "Once Upon a Time" fantasies, which is something I find interesting - it's the earliest hints of my style as an author. I remember one "book" in particular I made that was about funny things that happened to my brothers one day. It started with them getting up and falling out of bed, and then tripping over their messy toys, then falling into the toilet, etc. That was before Kindergarten and I believe my mother still has it stored somewhere. My mother ran a home day care, and for years I used to sit with the kids and have them volunteer random things, and I'd turn them into an improvised story.

    There's never been a time in my life when I answered "What do you want to be when you grow up" with anything but, "A writer." (Although now that I am a business writer, I sometimes refine that into, "An author.") For a long time, I honestly thought everybody came pre-programmed with what they were "meant" to do, and it was strange for me to learn that that's not the case. My kids have wanted to be everything from a surfer to a doctor, and it's hilarious and different for me, because literally my entire life has been built around this core of needing to create stories, and never wanting to do or be anything else.
    Last edited by LeftyLucy; 09-14-2017 at 04:44 PM.

  21. #21
    Dead Men Tell No Tales Chasing the Horizon's Avatar
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    After I became obsessed with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in my late teens, I went looking for fantasy books with the same kind of fun action-adventure tone, but found very few that were really good. So I started writing my own, and discovered I really enjoyed it. I'd always loved reading, but didn't have the focus and patience to enjoy writing as a child. By age 19/20 I'd developed those skills, and still love it just as much ten years later.
    “Wherever we want to go, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. Not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That’s what a ship needs, but what a ship is, what the Black Pearl really is ... is freedom.” ~ Jack Sparrow

    “Perhaps on the rare occasion pursuing the right course demands an act of piracy, and piracy itself can be the right course.” ~ Governor Swann




  22. #22
    Tastes Like Chicken GoSpeed's Avatar
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    My writing genesis began as a way to preserve something I thought was in danger of fading away. My primary source of inspiration was the online virtual world of Second Life. To date I have invested many hours in world and have made hundreds of friends there. Like anything on the internet, no single platform lives forever. Someday, possibly sooner rather than later, Second Life would go offline.

    I figured the best way to preserve my impressions of this world and my avatars is to write stories with them as the characters. My first short story featured GoSpeed Rasere appearing in the real world and coming to stay with me. I never did complete the story as real life became complicated.

    That complication was a divorce followed a few years latter by remarriage to a partner who was more supportive of my creative pursuits. After listening to a podcast by Scott Sigler titled,"So you wanna be a writer" I vowed to begin writing. One completed short story and two novel drafts later and I am getting closer to self publishing in the near future.

    Look at my profile pic, that's GoSpeed .

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Jade A's Avatar
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    honestly, I don't know. creative writing assignments in elementary school, I think? I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW travelgal's Avatar
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    I was the storyteller among the five of us as tots with the trucks, the marbles, the dolls and the dinosaurs. No house or mother roles, but adventure stories.

    Wrote a story about Good Dragon and Black Soot for my family, which went unappreciated, cos nobody is a reader. Duh.

    Floundered ever since, since I was mediocre at everything in school and uni, but I'm still writing. Go figure.
    Stoneheart-91k YA Historical set in 1979-80.

  25. #25
    figuring it all out shizu's Avatar
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    I can't remember a time when I wasn't telling stories through some medium or the other. My Barbies had some thrilling adventures back in the day, lemme tell you! Actually, pretty much every toy I had ended up story-fied in some way. Even board games, those free little figures that came with cereal, and cut-out from catalogs.


    I was an obsessively passionate reader as a kid too, which contributed a lot. I think it conditioned me from a young age to relate to the world via stories and narratives. I'd go through books at a phenomenal rate so when I ran out, or was just inspired by something I'd read, I'd make up my own stories, oftentimes based on the books or cartoons I loved.


    First act of physical writing I remember, I must've been... IDK, six or seven, pecking away at an old typewriter on the dining room table, writing enthralling tales about a plastic pony keychain.

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