View Full Version : When did you realize you could write? long

04-30-2009, 11:07 PM
Hi guys
I was in highschool. I did not like being there so I wrote stories instead of paying attention in class. I'll set this up with some background. Small town in 1960s. I had been living in a city as a runaway for quite awhile when my mother found me and sent me to live with my father. He was a school bus driver, and owned a car lot. He also was a city councilman.
I was working on a story while in studyhall. I had two or three hundred pages written in a notebook. Since the story was based on my experience as a runaway in a 'hippy commune' setting it was a story filled with sex, drugs, and did I say sex? Anyway I somehow left the notebook in studyhall. When I got home from school I was summoned to my father's den. Not a good thing. When I walked into the room my father was holding my manuscript. In a very low angry voice he informed me that my writing had been found and passed around to every teacher in my school, in the teacher's lounge. He sarcastically told me it was a most popular read and everyone including our minister had been talking about it. He gounded me from everything for six months. That is when I knew I could hold a reader's interest and began to see myself as a writer. How about you?


M.R.J. Le Blanc
04-30-2009, 11:16 PM
I've always known I could write, I've been writing since I learned how. My first story was in grade one where I wrote this fabulous journal entry about the horses on the farm my grandparents owned - which was completely fictional (except for the grandparents part)! But it was so detailed (for a first grader, anyway) that my teacher thought it was true until my mother informed her that while my grandparents did have a big property it wasn't a farm by any means. To my credit, there was a farm across the road at the very bottom of their property, with horses, so it wasn't totally untrue. My grandparents just didn't own it :) I've been writing stories ever since. Whether I can write anything publishable still remains to be seen, but I'm working on it.

04-30-2009, 11:20 PM
My first story was published in my elementary school yearbook when I was 5 years old, in Ms. Dengler's kindergarten class. It was about two kittens and ball of yarn. That sent my writing ball rolling and I've loved to write ever since.

I still have the yearbook with my story in it.

04-30-2009, 11:37 PM
One of my sisters loved receiving my emails and the way I told a story in them. And she's the most critical of all my sisters. She encouraged me to submit an essay to a magazine. I did. Two months later I had an editor call me--call me!--and say it was the best writing he'd read in a long time.

That was over nine years ago and I haven't looked back.

04-30-2009, 11:40 PM
I was five or six. My parents decided I was too old for a nightlight, and to get myself to sleep I would make up stories based on characters in my favorite TV shows, trying to simulate actually watching TV. I started writing them down. It progressed from there. (PS- I'm 24 years old and I still prefer a nightlight).

04-30-2009, 11:46 PM
I've been writing since I could read. Seriously. I found my first and only fan fic I wrote about batman I wrote before I'd started kindergarten or just after. My mom must've typed it one the computer, but I narrated. Or maybe she didn't, and that's why the spelling was atrocious.

And I've been writing ever since.

04-30-2009, 11:54 PM
Slight tangent. My parents bought me a word processing machine when I was seven - the bastard child of a keyboard, a printer, a tiny four-line screen and a simple text program. This was in the mid 90s, before we even had a family computer, so I must have been writing a metric truckload. Man, I loved that machine. :D

05-01-2009, 12:06 AM
I've been writing for as long as i can remember. Heh - i just lurves to write.

05-01-2009, 12:12 AM
My mother says that I started spinning yarns almost as soon as I could put together a sentence. She had a hard time when I was young, figuring out if I knew reality from my imagination. Probably still does, for that matter.

In my baby book are scattered pages with little figures (I think they're figures) all over the page. Dad says that I'd tell him a story while I drew it out when I was 2. If he brought me back the paper weeks, I'd be able to "read" the same story back to him.

First word-story I've memory of was in 1st grade when we had to create a folk tale (think: Paul Bunyan-type) and illustrate it. My illustration sucked, but the story won a place in the mimeographed school paper (one of three).

I honestly can't remember a time when I didn't have a story in my head. Now, whether or not I want to share it is a completely different matter.

05-01-2009, 12:53 AM
You know how little kids play with plastic animals, moving them around, making them talk to each other? When I was a kid, I did that...but my stories came complete with narration, adjectives, and detailed plots. I would hold a toy wolf in my hand and say things like, "Zunar's inky wings folded to his sides as he plummeted to the earth. The winged wolf could smell his adversary now, smell the hot metal tang of him. 'Rosscarion! You are mine!' he howled as he crashed through the whipping branches."

People thought I talked to myself a lot. It was a pretty sure bet I was going to be a writer.


05-01-2009, 01:08 AM
I've always liked reading even when I was really young. My nose was forever stuck in a book. And in my first few years at school I loved when we did "story-writing time". I used to write pages and pages then took it home and wrote even more.

I remember reading Harry Potter when I was about 7 or 8 and loved it so much that I thought I could write the next book in the series. So I made my own little book from A4 paper and starting to hand-write until I had finished. It was sincerely terrible.

I'm in high school and it wasn't until last summer, after I got obsessed with reading again, that I started writing 'properly'. I started with a couple of short stories, then moved on to a novel. I also found a love of poetry and started to write poems too.

05-01-2009, 01:10 AM
I've always had stories, but I didn't know they were good until high school.

One day in English class we had an assignment to write a 2-4 page creative story and read them in front of the class.

As everyone read, the class pretty much zoned out, you know, like typical teenagers.

But when I read my story, people actually 'paid attention'. After class, people were talking about my story and asking me how I came up with it, did I have any more, etc.

And then, the high school cheerleading team had a battle royal over who would be one of my three girlfriends for the week....

...that was my 'aha' moment that I had a gift for this writing thing :)


05-01-2009, 01:13 AM
I figured it out when it came to my attention that I was able to express myself more clearly and more elegantly in written form, without my mouth hampering what I was trying to get across.

Stijn Hommes
05-01-2009, 02:01 AM
I wrote my first serious story the year after I learned how to write in group 4 (I think second grade to you Americans). It was a story about how Saint Nicholas (the Dutch variety of Santa Clause) let his hat drop in the sea and needed a tumble dryer to save the day. I had to ask the teacher how to spell tumble dryer...

I started writing seriously again roughly 13-15 years later when I hit university when I found out about fanfiction. Before that my attempts to finish something always failed.

05-01-2009, 02:09 AM
You know how little kids play with plastic animals, moving them around, making them talk to each other? When I was a kid, I did that...but my stories came complete with narration, adjectives, and detailed plots. I would hold a toy wolf in my hand and say things like, "Zunar's inky wings folded to his sides as he plummeted to the earth. The winged wolf could smell his adversary now, smell the hot metal tang of him. 'Rosscarion! You are mine!' he howled as he crashed through the whipping branches."

I'm now picturing you as Wash from Firefly, acting out scenes with stuffed toy dinosaurs. :tongue

05-01-2009, 02:23 AM
Like most of those who've posted in this thread, I started telling stories when I was in elementary school, mainly to myself to get to sleep at night.

But I didn't recognize my story telling skills until high school when I impressed a nun with a short fiction story and a biography I wrote on Pope John Paul II. She told me I had a great imagination and a wonderful way of stringing words together. This was after a public school teacher informed my parents, who wasted no time telling me, that I had too much imagination. I guess they thought nuns would teach the imagination out of me. HA!

So, then I ignored story telling and went to nursing school and worked as a nurse for 15 years. :e2smack:

05-01-2009, 02:38 AM
I started story telling at a very young age. My mom always told me I could tell the most riveting stories and my sisters hated it when they would read me a story and a week later I could remember it and retell it better than they could. I wrote small stories as soon as I learned how to write and started on my first novel when I was 11 or 12. I would have finished it too if I didn't have to work with crappy floppy discs at the time.

05-01-2009, 02:49 AM
I'd always enjoyed writing little stories while growing up, but I discovered how much I loved it at the age of nine when I wrote a short story in English class. It was about a boy that gets sucked into a pirate world. The climax being... get ready for it... he throws a sword at the pirate and runs away screaming. (Or something along those lines.)

Anyway, my teacher found it amusing and asked me to read it out to the school in a show and tell assembly. Ha. Bless my little cottons.

I dropped writing between the ages of twelve and fifteen because I had a social life, but I remembered how much I loved it and that I was kind of good at it after having to write a short story as my GCSE coursework. I got an A and my teacher spent about five minutes expressing how much she loved it and how she showed it to the rest of the English department. Of course, by this time I was sinking lower and lower in my chair as the rest of the class stared at me.

I've been writing ever since.

05-01-2009, 02:52 AM
My story is just slightly different. Since I was young, I've always had an insatiable thirst for reading and a vivid imagination. I was always continuing the stories I read inside my head. It was when I finally got to AP English in high school, that I found out that I had a knack for writing. I was absent a lot, but always tended to get the highest marks on my essays. Then life happened and I didn't do much writing for about 8 years. But when I picked up the pen this time, I didn't have anyone telling me what to write, so I began writing my opinions on different things. Then I started writing the stories that had been bouncing around in my head. Now, fingers crossed, someone else will like what I write as much as I do. But even if they don't, it's still what makes me happy.

Wayne K
05-01-2009, 03:38 AM
I've always known. When I was in 8th grade I wrote a book and people loved it, then I wrote one in prison with the same results.

I didn't write a word for 20 years, but I'm back.

The Lonely One
05-01-2009, 03:54 AM
I'd like to take a second to thank English teachers. Sometimes I disagree with the methodology in English classrooms, but I appreciate this:

I'm not going to say something like "I was always a great writer." No, I wasn't. Neither was anyone else. At some point they couldn't even talk or walk. (How embarrassing!)

But I do think some people are wired for creative work such as writing, and I'd credit a good deal of my progressing in writing to teachers who have fostered it in me. I can think of several all the way down to kindergarten that were of some influence, who encouraged me to do better. To that end I'm in their debt. So I'd say, I "realized I could write" when those I was learning to write from helped me come to that realization.

And I have you kind people to keep me grounded :)

05-01-2009, 05:31 AM
I still don't know if I can write. I've been making up stories since I was five or six, but I've never been confident of my ability to write them down in a way that would keep a reader's interest.

But I keep trying anyway.

05-01-2009, 07:37 AM
I actually had the opposite happen. I finished my first draft of my WIP and realized it sucked. Bad.

So I realized I can't do the writing part well. yet.
But I have the story part down pretty good at least.

05-02-2009, 02:03 AM
My story is just slightly different. Since I was young, I've always had an insatiable thirst for reading and a vivid imagination. I was always continuing the stories I read inside my head.

I'm the exact same som1, and i was an avid reader. I never thought of 'being a writer' in a serious way till about two years ago, it was always a dream though.

05-02-2009, 06:58 PM
I've always had the desire to write stories, but also hated the drudgery that went with editing, fixing typos, etc. As technology grew, and word processing programs eliminated most of that drudgery, I tried my hand at some stories. I had no idea what I ws doing and it showed. I started reading How-to books and reading a lot more genre fiction.
Just when I thought I was ready to begin writing, I got a new job that required 100% of my thoughts, both at the office and at home. I was just too drained to find the energy to write.
The desire continued to grow until I had to make a decision. I retired (I'm old enough to do that). Now I have all the time I need to write. I'm still having difficulty getting through some parts of my WIP (otherwise, I wouldn't be writing this), but I'm finally writing.

05-03-2009, 11:30 PM
I didn't actually want to be a professional writer until I was 17. Uptil then I was convinced I would be a Doctor.

I wrote stories from a young age and my reading skills were advanced for my age.

I guess I realised I could write when I won my first poetry competition aged 15.

05-04-2009, 04:58 PM
So I realized I can't do the writing part well. yet.
But I have the story part down pretty good at least.

Opposite for me, although almost the first story I remember writing was for a fourth or fifth grade class. It was terrible, but I had to read it aloud, and the kids loved it.

However, right through high school and college, I got good grades, not because I necessarily knew much, but because I phrased it well, and the teachers enjoyed my papers. I thought it was almost cheating, because it was so easy, and I vaguely imagined that the other students just hadn't thought of it. Sure, write something fun to read, and get a good grade--why doesn't everyone do it?

I was probably 40 before I realized that some people couldn't do it, any more than I could play tennis. Slow learner, here.

Brag: All three of my kids have excellent prose styles: clear, unornamented, and precise.

05-04-2009, 05:32 PM
I was the weird kid in class that loved reading assignments and essays. In HS when I would read a book, I would always finish it with a vague sense of disappointment, thinking I could have written it better. So I tried. And have been trying, on and off, for about twenty years. Still haven't written the 'better' book, yet, but am trying.

Claudia Gray
05-04-2009, 06:20 PM
I'm still wondering if I can write.

I knew I was at least ahead of the curve in high school and college, because I did well on writing assignments. Also, the process of writing was always fun for me.

The first meaningful encouragement I got was about a year after I started writing fanfic. Anybody can publish fanfic; most people will get at least a few positive responses, no matter how bad the story (and my early stuff was indeed pretty bad). Then I wrote a longer story -- still mostly very bad -- but there was one scene in it that felt a little different even when I wrote it, which was about one character returning after a long absence to realize that the friendships around him had changed in his absence. When I got responses to that story, people didn't say, "I liked when X character did this" -- people talked about themselves, about how that scene reminded them of times when they had had similar experiences. I realized that scene had done something different, something better, and that was the feeling I needed to go for.

Still plodding down that path.

05-05-2009, 01:56 AM
I still have some of my first works (preK-1st grade) that indicated to my parents that I was a writer. I think I knew I was a writer in middle school after winning a competition.