View Full Version : How Did You First Become Interested In Writing?

05-28-2008, 05:50 PM
reading Crime & Punishment.
Ax murders aside, I thought Raskalnikov was ultra-cool.
He was a loner who said and did what he wanted,
which was very appealing to me as a teen.
He was also a writer who'd had an article published in a periodical.
"If I could do something similar, myself," I reasoned, "I might also lead a reclusive life like him."
Of course, my priorities have changed a lot since then.
I remain grateful to Raskalnikov, though, for getting me into this racket,
and wish him well in his Siberian prison,
with angelic Sonia awaiting his release.

05-28-2008, 05:55 PM
I can't pinpoint the exact time I started to like writing... I had always been a chatty person, and my friends would get annoyed about my talking, so I wrote what I wanted to say instead -- and I think it just took off from there.

05-28-2008, 05:57 PM
Green Eggs and Ham. I wanted to be a word acrobat when I read that book. And Roald Dahl sealed the deal.

05-28-2008, 06:04 PM
About 1st-2nd grade when I realized that when I told stories aloud, people called me a liar, but if I wrote them down, people called me imaginative, creative and cool.

05-28-2008, 06:19 PM
From reading comic books. I wanted to be Stan Lee, or Jack Kirby...

05-28-2008, 06:29 PM
My first grade teacher noticed I had the knack during some assignment or another.

She was also the first to discover how I clutch under the pressure of a deadline.

05-28-2008, 06:31 PM
My father was a great story teller. It was in the good old days when there was no television. We would sit in the living room after dinner and he would enthrall us with his yarns. Our family is Manx and ther was always a lot of superstition and magic in the tales. Then, when i lived in Papua New Guinea, there was no TV when my first two kids were young. So the natural progression was from telling stories to writing them.

05-28-2008, 06:44 PM
Well, I've got pictures of me sitting at a desk as a toddler, scribbling away little "stories" which I no longer recall. So, I always wrote.

I didn't think anything of it until the third grade when I wrote a poem about a color for this project we did with a visiting writer. It was either a poet or a children's book author. He chose some of the poems, and mine was one. I had to read it in front of the whole school. I was scared to death, but I got through it and the applause made it worthwhile.

"Lavender Rain" it was called. That's hilarious to me now. :D But...it let me know that I had a little knack. It happened during a time in my life when I was desperate for approval, so I think it made a permanent impression on me that this was something I could do, and do reasonably well.


05-28-2008, 07:03 PM
My mom tells me I was writing little "made up stories" when I was in second grade, so I suspect this particular brain-chemical disorder (which is how a good friend of mine who works as a psychologist describes my need to write) has been with me since I first learned how to wield a writing instrument and put letters together into words.

05-28-2008, 07:31 PM
I was always told not to attempt writing. I was such a bad speller, and I was horrible at essays. Family, and adults I trusted discouraged any kind of foray into the world of writing. I wasn't illiterate or anything. I was a voracious reader, and read at college level in the 4th grade; however, people treated me as though I was illiterate. I actually realized that they were wrong while I was in college in New York. I had to write a 20 page final paper for Art History. I had gone through my entire academic life without such a hurdle-- which is amazing. I was so nervous. I worked on the paper for a month. Apparently I did everything right. I got an A++ and any bad test score was wiped out. The professor told me it was the most entertaining paper she'd ever read. The spark had been lit. Less than a year later I was off to New Mexico to get a degree in Professional writing. While there, I got bored and began taking creative writing classes. I did well there too. I was amazed that everyone told me I could not write when apparently, I could. I wish I had tried it earlier. I learned that when people discourage me, I shouldn't listen to them. I didn't know that back then.

05-28-2008, 09:29 PM
From the moment I could talk; I then used that ability to tell myself stories. Once I learned to write, and then learned that some people make money writing, I was hooked.

Kitty Pryde
05-28-2008, 10:57 PM
I loved reading since the age of 3. I was reading all these Ray Bradbury stories and falling madly in love with them in middle school. I went to the store to look for more Bradbury books and I found that he had written a book about writing. I was intrigued by the possibility that I could write something similar to what he wrote and from that time the idea stuck with me.

05-28-2008, 11:13 PM
1) When my fantasies offered an escape from the hell house I was raised in
2) When Rhet Butler walked out the door and that STUPID Scarlett simply figured she'd get him back, but would think on it tomorrow.

Me? I'd have tackled him, ripped my bodice, and smothered him in southern delight!! That's when I decided I could write a better story.

Uh hem. I was fourteen. Need I say more?

05-28-2008, 11:22 PM
The first time I remember thinking, "I wonder how the author did that. I wonder if I could do that." was when I read Jeffrey Archer's Cain and Abel back when I was a preteen.

As an adult, the first fiction I wrote, I set myself this challenge: To write a whole story without ever telling what the character was thinking. Do it all through actions. Entirely show instead of tell.

So I wrote it and I haven't stopped writing (much) since. I guess that was 5 or 6 years ago.

05-28-2008, 11:41 PM
I've been writing stories as long as I can remember; I recall a story of mine which was highly derivative (read--ripoff) of Coyote and Roadrunner being entered in the Young Authors program when I was little. That surely wasn't the first. I was always writing silly little stories in childhood. Every time the teacher would give us a list of spelling words to use in a story, I seemed to come up with the most creative one. And not only that, but I'd write sequels, and sequels to sequels. I recall a short-story series we read as classwork and none of the students were satisfied with the abrupt ending so the teacher gave us the assignment to write our own ending. Mine was of course an epic (complete with illustrations, no less) which the class enjoyed. This pattern continued all throughout school and up to the present day, though of course, once past junior high, everyone else stopped caring about reading any of it. (Where I'm from, it's cool to be a creative writer--when you're in elementary school. The rest of the time it's rather lame.)

As for a defining moment though, I was bothering my father in the kitchen and he snapped at me to go write a story, so I took a notepad and left. I returned a while later with it half filled up and he exclaimed, "I told you to write a STORY, not a NOVEL!" That story was based on a dog food commercial that I'd seen. (Long story.)

I finished that, then wrote a sequel, then another sequel, and another, etc....then started a different series...and another different series...and a fourth...then other series set in these four different storylines...and more unrelated stuff...and more and more...and sequels to sequels in the series...and then spinoffs...

And that's where I am today. *shrug*

So, thank you, dog food commercial.

05-28-2008, 11:45 PM
I started writing graphic novels when I was a kid, sitting around waiting for my dad during meetings and such. (At the time I would erase each scene and draw a new one.) I didn't realize I could actually be a writer until I turned 30. (I'm a slow learner. ;) )

06-01-2008, 12:32 AM
It was my grandmother who got me to write down all the stories that I would tell her, so she could "remember them better", but I realise now that I was giving her headaches with my non-stop chatter and interrupting "grown-up conversations".

06-01-2008, 07:02 AM
This is a popular interview question and writers should have an answer ready for it, especially when they become authors. My answer? I honestly have no idea when or how I become interested in writing. I remember loving to read a lot, but I can't remember how it happened. I just liked that the stories I read took me places in my imagination and I felt like I was living the stories I read. I was always sad when a book ended. But writing? I haven't a clue. I don't even remember when I started writing. How awful is that?

Michael Parks
06-01-2008, 07:20 AM
Since age 12. See my site link in my sig, "Poetry/Prose" page, click the "California Here They Come" link (its rather short). Unedited. Wrote that and got an A+. I still have the original paper, the grade in red ink at the top. Wish I hadn't waited so long to continue writing. :/

06-01-2008, 07:29 AM
I wrote my first story when I was 6. It was called "The Incredible Space Creatures." No, I don't write sci-fi now.

I wrote the most between grades 7 and 12. I'm trying to recapture that productivity now.

06-01-2008, 03:35 PM
I always loved reading and stories. Writing was just a progression. I wrote what I consider my first serious story when I was thirteen. It was pretty terrible but it gave me a massive sense of possibility. I don't think I've stopped writing or lost that sense of possibility since.

06-01-2008, 07:49 PM
A short story popped in my head and I laughed at the idea of it and so wrote it down - i'm afraid to tell you all that i caught the writer's disease and i hope i never find the cure. cheers.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
06-01-2008, 07:57 PM
I come from a long line of storytellers - only my family called 'em 'liars'. My sixth grade teacher gave us a writing assignment - short story - and I created 'Pam Palmer', an intrepid female space explorer. She discovered a far-off planet ruled by King Awattatashi. Another liar storyteller was born.

04-17-2014, 04:42 AM
I created 'Pam Palmer', an intrepid female space explorer. She discovered a far-off planet ruled by King Awattatashi.

So what did Pam do when she arrived? Become Queen? That'd be neat :-)

(Been curious to know for some time now.)

04-17-2014, 05:10 AM
This is a popular interview question and writers should have an answer ready for it, especially when they become authors. My answer? I honestly have no idea when or how I become interested in writing. I remember loving to read a lot, but I can't remember how it happened. I just liked that the stories I read took me places in my imagination and I felt like I was living the stories I read. I was always sad when a book ended. But writing? I haven't a clue. I don't even remember when I started writing. How awful is that?

Yeah, my press-worthy response is definitely "I don't know."

I *think* I got started down the writing path when I was around 12, 13, when I realized I couldn't think of any career I'd actually want to spend my life doing, except writing. Maybe I thought it would be easy. :rolleyes

04-17-2014, 05:45 AM
One day I just kept thinking of all the stories I wanted to tell. then I just said, damnit I'm going to do it.

I first started writing for an audience with fanfiction. My goal was just, I want to write a story too. I like to feel included.

Maggie Maxwell
04-17-2014, 06:11 AM
Second grade, our first practice standardized test in a line of many to come, leading up to the official test in 10th grade. We were randomly given a prompt and had to write something about it. Because we were teeny little wee ones, we didn't have anything complicated to write. We'd get either a fiction prompt or a non-fiction prompt. When the teacher told us to start, I flipped my sheet over and found the fiction one. Whatever bug bit me that day never let go. Hoorah, random number generator of life!

04-17-2014, 07:12 AM
Growing up, I enjoyed making up stories and was always encouraged to do so. My mom would let me tell her the stories I came up with, and when I was little, she'd entertain me during car rides by helping me come up with stories about a cast of characters I'd created.

At some point when I was a bit older, it occurred to me that I could try writing.

04-17-2014, 08:06 AM
My first grade teacher must have recognized some budding writer bug in me, because a few weeks into the school year she gave me a notebook and told me that I should start writing stories down. I still have stacks of notebooks sitting in my closet from elementary school. Lots of stories about rainbow colored alien poodles and giant heart monsters eating school buses.

Looking back, it's probably a good thing that I confined all of those ideas to paper instead of telling people about them...

04-17-2014, 10:37 AM
When I discovered the glorious mysteries of the written word, at age four.


04-17-2014, 11:24 AM
Well, it would appear I'm late to the party.
I started at the grand old age of 16. My very best friend would often forward stories she found online. It was after one particularly good one (now forgotten in the depths of time, regrettably) where I made an off-hand comment about thinking about giving writing a whirl. She told me to get on with it and I spent a week vomiting up a poorly-written, even more poorly-thought-out story. Happily, I realised it was bloody awful and abandoned it, but have yet to stop writing.
Best decision ever.

04-17-2014, 01:01 PM
Reading "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells for the first time when I was 8. About 9 years later I posted the begining of something online, and boy was it awful. Went to fanfiction for a bit, now I write both fanfics and original works. Eventually I may stop doing fanfiction, but it has helped my original work immensely. So, for now, I will continue working on novels and free original work, and keep my fanfiction proving ground to explore things in.

04-17-2014, 01:14 PM
How Did You First Become Interested In Writing?

Short answer: I wrote.

Long(er) answer: My sixth grade teacher stuck a picture of a house up on the blackboard and told us to write a short story using the house as inspiration. I churned out 11 pages or so that took ten or fifteen minutes to read to the class. I was hooked.

04-17-2014, 02:15 PM
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I read a story in Twilight Zone Magazine and said to myself, "Well! I can do that."

What a trip it's been...


Sam Argent
04-17-2014, 03:36 PM
When I was fifteen, I did well in english classes except for finishing short stories. My stories never ended and my assignments were always pages longer than my classmates. During one of those projects, I had six pages of unfinished story instead of the assigned three. We had to read our stories out loud, and I begged not to read mine even if it affected my grade because I didn't want the class groaning at me for boring them to death. Teacher said that was a no-go and I had to read them all. By page four, I expected everyone to be asleep but they were all staring at me. They weren't talking or secretly eating smuggled food. All eyes were on me, and when I read my last page, half the class's hands went up. They pelted me with questions about what was going to happen or who ended up with who. I felt amazing, especially since they had only asked a total of two questions during the other fifteen projects. For the first time I thought, "Wouldn't this be nice to do for a living?"

Unfortunately, I never finished that story and I was told repeatedly that writing was the dumbest career possible. It took me ten years to stop caring and go for it.

04-17-2014, 04:13 PM
Second grade. Had a writing assignment for class. Teacher gushed. It was all over after that. >.<

04-17-2014, 06:34 PM
Around Grade three or four. I'd read most of the Wizard of Oz books, most of Enid Blyton's Folk in the Faraway tree, Mary Stewart, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. and was very bored in most of my classes so I'd daydream endlessly with me being in all their stories.
Wish I'd written them down - almost none of my English classes ever involved any creative writing. I didn't actually start writing much at all until after I'd finished university. Then it was because I was in boring office jobs afterwards, and it kept me busy.

And no, I wasn't slacking, but I temped a fair amount in work environments with a lot of politics, etc. Sometimes there wasn't much to do but keep a chair at a desk warm.

04-17-2014, 07:41 PM
My mum was probably a big factor. She really encouraged us to read and take an interest in books from a young age. I remember falling in love with Narnia, The Faraway Tree/Enchanted Wood and all the boarding School books (Mallory Towers etc). she used to play a writing game with us where she would give us a a few titles to choose from (.e.g 'Anne runs away to the circus!') and we would have to write a story based on this title. Then I can remember being around 10 and constantly buying jotters and pens with my pocket money and starting to write 'a book'. I always remember one which I titled 'The Haunted House on the Hill'. Pretty much all of my stories would begin with a family moving to a new place and strange things happening in the house. (not a lot has changed since!)

I loved creative writing at school, I enjoyed it more than anything. I definitely think the passion comes from your first experiences of reading and the magic feeling of discovering and visualising a different world. There's nothing else quite like it. :)

04-18-2014, 02:23 AM
When I was sixteen, and a story I wrote circulated around my entire year (in retrospect it was full of plot holes, but nobody else seemed to notice). It was also the time that I joined my first writing community online.

Before this point, writing was just something I had fun doing in English classes because I felt I was good at it. I posted some stuff to various writing websites and the overwhelmingly positive responses I got gave me an incredible rush of joy. I started getting really excited about my ideas.

I realised that if I took it seriously I might actually get somewhere with it. So here I am!

04-18-2014, 02:31 AM
I forget. I think I just sorta woke up one day when I was about 11 or 12 and wanted to tell a story and wanted people to read it. Then I wanted to tell more stories. And more stories.

Mr Flibble
04-18-2014, 02:37 AM
I always loved to read, and when going to sleep I always made up little stories as i drifted off. I just never thouht anyone else would be interested

Anyoldway, I got ME. There were only a few things I could manage without having to lie down afterwards (washing up was something I had to plan for ffs). Roleplaying (sort of D&D only not -- Middle Earth based) was one thing, and I almost always am "god" because I can come up withstories/additions on the fly. And I had a couple of NPCs that needed some backstory and....

So I started and realised that I liked it. A lot. So I carried on. I started in my mid thirties?

Basically it came down to writing, or watching that woman off of Car Booty (and I swear EVERY OTHER DAYTIME TELLY SHOW at the time) in which case I was going to have to break the telly or do something dire to her.

04-18-2014, 02:40 AM
I was twenty-six. I was at my aunt's house, all alone, and could find only two magazines in the whole house. I read both, and on of them had an article about Robert Heinlein wherein he said he wrote his first short story in an effort to pay an overdue bill.

Like him, I had overdue bills. I figured what he could do I could at least try. I sat down, read a grammar book, and then wrote a short story in two days, and mailed it off. It sold, and paid a bit more than my day job did in a month.

I quit my day job the moment that check came in the mail.

04-19-2014, 07:07 PM
I was a shy teenager, didn't have many friends and got bullied in high school. As a result, I spent a lot of time alone. I decided to write down my feelings and started writing poetry and stories.

Siri Kirpal
04-19-2014, 10:07 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

In 6th grade I wrote a poem as an assignment, and the teacher thought it was amazingly good. That spurred me to write poetry.

Fiction has taken lots longer because in classes we always talked about theme and symbols and such like, and it took awhile to realize that fiction is about character and plot. (Go ahead and laugh. I do too at this point.)

Because I wasn't getting fiction, I put writing prose on hold until I had something to write about. Which is why my published works are non-fiction.


Siri Kirpal

04-20-2014, 06:49 AM
I was 4 when I learned to read, and right away I started reading A LOT, so by my first year of full-day school my teachers were struggling to find books to assign me to read. So, I started writing my own. I started with what I now know is called fanfiction - Bobbsey Twins, Rainbow Brite, Sindy, even a lengthy and fantastical sequel to that cartoon movie The Snowman. By the time I was 7, if I didn't have a notebook with a pretty (and relevant) picture on the cover to write in, I would write on scraps of paper and create my own covers using scraps of wallpaper. I was quite an industrious little tyke, now that I think about it.

I was determined that I would beat the author of the Garden Gang books (anyone remember those?) by becoming the youngest published author ever (she was 9). Yeah, that didn't happen. ;)