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Caitlin Black
10-25-2009, 07:25 AM
Okay, so I went to the shopping centre today. I had just arrived, and was outside smoking a cigarette (I know, shame on me). Anyway, this guy comes up to me and introduces himself. I knew he wanted a cigarette. I always know. Why else would a stranger approach a pot-bellied guy holding flaming death?

But this guy was different. Sometimes I'm offered a dollar for a smoke. Sometimes they just want to "bum" one off me, which frankly is a little saucy for my tastes. This guy introduced himself, and offered to read me a poem in exchange for the sweet release of nicotine-teeth.

So we got to talking. He's an unpublished writer. Just started writing recently. He's writing poetry and an autobiography. So I gave him some pointers about the industry, such as the lack of agents in Australia, where to find freelance editors in our state, how I think going straight to a publisher is probably the way to go.

But the most striking thing he said to me (apart from his poem, which was a poignant environmentalist diatribe) was about why he started writing. He had just had a very traumatic experience 7 weeks ago, and he was writing down his feelings, and also the story of the experience.

So it got me thinking: why did you guys first start writing? Now, I know, the reason you keep writing is because you enjoy it, and some of you do it for publication, some do it for yourselves, but what in your life made you first attempt a novel, or a poem, or a song?

I, like the guy I met today, started writing after trauma as a self-affirming rehab, but only because I knew I liked to write from experience in blogging and high school.

Being a published author was also a goal of mine, a little below being a signed musician (until I realised I sucked at music).

So why I started writing was because it was a goal of mine, and because I was trying to recover from a bad place in my life.

How about you?

Judg
10-25-2009, 07:32 AM
I started writing because I'd always wanted to and I finally ran out of excuses. Well, reasons too. I did have an exceptionally busy life. But when it got unbusy, I said, "It's now or never."

JoNightshade
10-25-2009, 07:41 AM
I'm one of those people who has been writing since I was a little kid. I wrote because I read. I related more to the characters in books than I did to people in real life, and writing was the most obvious, natural form of communication for me.

kaitie
10-25-2009, 07:44 AM
Sixth grade English class with Mrs. Ledbetter. I don't remember ever really writing before that, and when we first started doing creative writing assignments in class, it was the most fun I'd had in ages, and it occurred to me that I could actually write the books I loved reading so much.

Wayne K
10-25-2009, 07:44 AM
I started writing because I had a life changing event. I thought I would never work again and would end up dead anyway, so I sat down to write a suicide note. Around page 100, I said "This would make a great memoir" I have two now.

I've been at it ever since.

Wayne K
10-25-2009, 07:44 AM
Oh, and I'm still alive BTW :D

Judg
10-25-2009, 07:51 AM
Oh, and I'm still alive BTW :D
Thanks for clarifying that.

jodiodi
10-25-2009, 09:53 AM
I'm one of those people who has been writing since I was a little kid. I wrote because I read. I related more to the characters in books than I did to people in real life, and writing was the most obvious, natural form of communication for me.

This.

C.M.C.
10-25-2009, 05:43 PM
Because I was tired of hearing people tell me I should do it.

ChaosTitan
10-25-2009, 05:59 PM
When I was a kid, I made up stories all the time--my imaginary friend next door, the complete histories and social lives of my Barbies and She-Ra figures, etc... At some point in middle school, it occurred to me that real, living people wrote the books I loved to read--don't ask why it never occurred to me before that, but it hadn't; books just existed until that point. I didn't know that Authors were real people.

I realized I didn't have to be An Author before I could write, too (come on, it was kid logic). So I started writing down my stories.

ishtar'sgate
10-25-2009, 06:47 PM
I'm one of those people who has been writing since I was a little kid. I wrote because I read.
Me too. I had severe asthma as a kid so spent many boring hours at home not doing much of anything. When I discovered reading it opened up a whole other world for me. Reading stimulated a desire to create. It began with storytelling. My younger brother and I shared a bedroom when we were small and I'd tell him stories to help him sleep. I remember one of the first stories was about the faries who lived in the tree stump outside our bedroom window. Writing out my stories was a natural progression.

Bubastes
10-25-2009, 07:08 PM
I didn't know that Authors were real people.

I realized I didn't have to be An Author before I could write, too (come on, it was kid logic). So I started writing down my stories.

Your story sounds much like mine. I've always loved books and writing little stories, but when I was a kid it didn't occur to me that books were written by real people. I was out of college before I figured out that "real people" also meant "real people like me." What can I say? I'm a slow learner. :D

Freelancer
10-25-2009, 07:13 PM
I'm one of those people who has been writing since I was a little kid.Same here. I written for fun, because I loved to create worlds, then I realized this is I want to be. Also I always hated office works what the great 21st century was able to offer me, I never liked to follow orders, especially illogical ones, so also this was the best way to avoid office work and bosses. Now, I'm the boss. :) Plus with writing I can give something for the people, something fun, something good what they can enjoy.

chrysalnix
10-25-2009, 07:17 PM
I started writing seriously while recovering from several major surgeries. I was angry at the time and, looking back at some of my earlier stuff… it shows.

These days my writing is different, as if another person took over. It's lighter, more fun. I’ve had to work on the “better, not bitter” philosophy and realize there are problems in the world that are a lot worse than mine.

It reminds me of that part in “The Stand” where two of the characters (Nadine and….?) are walking through the Lincoln Tunnel. I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but King says life has tunnels in it that you go through. You go into a tunnel (a problem) one way and emerge on the other side changed, and not necessarily changed for the better. Just changed. (Though I do feel I have changed for the better in many ways.)

I’ve always been a huge reader and have been writing throughout my life, but that was the defining moment for me.

Cranky
10-25-2009, 07:20 PM
Like others, I read a lot. So it only seemed natural to write down the stories in my head, I suppose. But I was doing it long before I actually *remember* doing it, which is sort of strange. I don't remember most of my childhood very well. But my mom told me about it, and I've got a photo of me around age four, scribbling a "story" on a piece of paper.

Seems I've passed this along to my oldest. He's been writing stories ever since he learned to spell. :)

KTC
10-25-2009, 07:24 PM
I originally started writing because I wanted to be Dr. Seuss. I tried writing Seussical stuff before school. I was in love with words because of him...and then I found Roald Dahl and fell deep into my second love affair with word maestros. And so on and so on. I always wanted to write...and I was always high on the words of other writers. They spurred me on.

KTC
10-25-2009, 07:28 PM
Oh...and here in Canada we have something called RANDOM ACTS OF POETRY (http://national-random-acts-of-poetry.blogspot.com/). It was this month, actually. A friend of mine was one of the random acters. The government sponsors it. They 'buy' so many of the poets' books...and the poets randomly approach people in the street and read them a poem. And then, they give them one of the books that are already paid for. It's really quite awesome. They approach all sorts of people...people who look like not the poetry types...everybody. It's one week every year. It's right across the country. Go to the blog to read more. And they don't bum cigarettes in return for their poems. (-;

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2009, 07:34 PM
I came late to the game. I think I was in 9th grade when I read some Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs stories. I thought they were so amazing compared to the other crap I'd been reading (the Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, and school forced literature) and realized that I wanted to try to write that sort of adventure.

Brutal Mustang
10-25-2009, 07:38 PM
When I was a kid, I made up stories all the time--my imaginary friend next door, the complete histories and social lives of my Barbies and She-Ra figures, etc... At some point in middle school, it occurred to me that real, living people wrote the books I loved to read--don't ask why it never occurred to me before that, but it hadn't; books just existed until that point. I didn't know that Authors were real people.

I realized I didn't have to be An Author before I could write, too (come on, it was kid logic). So I started writing down my stories.

Ha! And I wasn't going to post here, because I thought I was the only one who got started on "Barbie plots"!

EFCollins
10-25-2009, 07:43 PM
I actually don't remember a time when I didn't write. A lot of my stories as a kid were verbal crap I came out with... the first being that I wasn't a child--I was an alien my parents found as an egg under their bed. It was the whole shebang... how I got to be under their bed as an egg, why I was on Earth (to come to an agreement with the humans for importing chocolate to Appleturkey my home planet, which was my interpretation of the city name Albuquerque). I told this story to all kinds of people and it never changed. My moms told me later (years later) that she knew right then that she'd ended up hatching [hehe sorry] a writer.

Adam
10-25-2009, 08:48 PM
The saying "everyone has a book in them."

Every time I heard it, it resonated with me, and as time passed I warmed to the idea of giving it a go. Then one night, about 2 years ago, an idea for a short scene popped into my head. I hauled myself out of bed, wrote it down and then went back to sleep. The short scene is now a (rather rough) novel entitled Solus. :)

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2009, 08:53 PM
The saying "everyone has a book in them."


I hate that expression. Makes me think I ONLY have one and its the one that keeps getting rejected. :( :D

scarletpeaches
10-25-2009, 08:53 PM
I've never not written.

But the best day of my life - the one that still chokes me when I think about it - was when my dad took me to the library and said I could take any four (I think) books I wanted for free, as long as I looked after them and brought them back the following month. I was amazed that places like that existed.

Then I began to put two and two together. The names on the book covers were people. And they'd written these books. And books also appeared in shops. So...someone must be making money, right?

So maybe these stories I was writing could...well...lead to something?

Adam
10-25-2009, 08:57 PM
I hate that expression. Makes me think I ONLY have one and its the one that keeps getting rejected. :( :D

:D

KTC
10-25-2009, 11:31 PM
I've never not written.

But the best day of my life - the one that still chokes me when I think about it - was when my dad took me to the library and said I could take any four (I think) books I wanted for free, as long as I looked after them and brought them back the following month. I was amazed that places like that existed.

Then I began to put two and two together. The names on the book covers were people. And they'd written these books. And books also appeared in shops. So...someone must be making money, right?

So maybe these stories I was writing could...well...lead to something?

Oh yes! Only my parents were never readers. So I found the library by myself. I thought it must be some kind of mistake!

And it was only a block or so from my house. And as long as I brought my dog with me, I was allowed to go wherever I wanted. So...I found the library. I think I was about 7ish? 8ish? Somewhere around there. That was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with libraries. I always fill up...and I'm always careful to look after them. Man...I love going to the library. We go every couple of weeks. My family moans after the first half hour or so. They like going too...they just don't have a hard time leaving.

S.J.
10-25-2009, 11:32 PM
I started writing at about eleven because I was jealous of my friend, who had written a story. Then I realised that, on paper, I could make whatever I wanted happen - it was literally a world of possibilities. That realisation was really exciting. *Nostalgic sigh*

backslashbaby
10-26-2009, 12:13 AM
I made up stories as a kid and my mom told me I should write them down. That might not sound very profound, but I truly believe she gave me a gift when she said that. So, I've always written down stories. Simple :)

I have the little boys in my neighborhood writing down their Sonic the Hedgehog stories :D

I did nonfiction, too, lol. I wrote a whole huge essay on dinousaurs and drew posters and everything; and my brother's kindergarten teacher let me give them the presentation. For fun. Cos I've been a nerd since in the womb ;)

Caitlin Black
10-26-2009, 10:01 AM
"I wrote a whole huge essay on dinousaurs"

I loved dinosaurs as a kid. I was a total nerd too from the age of being able to recognise words. :D I was seriously annoyed that primary school didn't teach about dinosaurs... now I can't remember squat about them. Phooey.

I wish I had been one of those kids who wrote from an early age, but I was different. I made racetracks out of pencils and pens, even though my favourite matchbox car always won the races, and I drew loads and loads of really complex mazes. Like, my parents couldn't do the mazes most of the time. I guess I loved structure, but there was still a creative bent there.

Tara Stone
10-27-2009, 05:53 PM
I'm one of those people who has been writing since I was a little kid. I wrote because I read. I related more to the characters in books than I did to people in real life, and writing was the most obvious, natural form of communication for me.

Same here. I've been writing since I learned to read. (And possibly before; I think my mom still has the notebooks that I used to "take notes" in when I had to wait someplace boring. The "notes" consisted of nonsense scribbles that looked like really messy cursive... not so different from my handwriting now, come to think of it :D ) I read all the time when I was a kid, and it never occurred to me that I wouldn't write stories in addition to reading them; the two naturally went together for me.


I've never not written.

But the best day of my life - the one that still chokes me when I think about it - was when my dad took me to the library and said I could take any four (I think) books I wanted for free, as long as I looked after them and brought them back the following month. I was amazed that places like that existed.

I have fond memories of going to the library and coming out with a stack of books so high I had to hold it up with my chin... the librarians used to be skeptical that I could read all those books, but I always finished the stack. It makes me wish I had a decent library where I live now...

secretiveseeker
10-27-2009, 07:17 PM
I guess I write now because I used to read a lot. I sucked at spelling when I was in kindergarten. That turned me off writing because I thought I wasn't good at English.

But it couldn't stop my mind from thinking up some crazy weird ideas. Like clown heads in my bedroom (after watching an episode of the X Files), the living shadows on the walls and my favourite - flying giant red-back spiders (think Pirates of the Carribean, Kraken size) that sprayed red or blue liquid from their bottom half. *shudders*

So yes -for my early years, I just read (because I love to read. And nowadays if I'm not writing, i'm reading) and cultivated my imagination. I didn't start writing stories until Year 9... because I was reading.

Judg
10-28-2009, 12:27 AM
I have fond memories of going to the library and coming out with a stack of books so high I had to hold it up with my chin... the librarians used to be skeptical that I could read all those books, but I always finished the stack. It makes me wish I had a decent library where I live now...
You mean you CHOSE to live in a place that doesn't have a decent library? *mind boggle*

Matera the Mad
10-30-2009, 03:15 AM
My mind was warped by too much reading. Something has to come out once in a while with all that input--like eating, y'know ;) Anyway, I always had a vivid imagination.