View Full Version : When did you start writing?

06-02-2010, 05:47 AM
I used to write when I was a teenager but life got busy, and it got pushed to the background. It wasn't until 3 yrs ago, I rediscovered my love for writing. And now, I've written 4 novels. I'm 34 years old now.

Just curious how old you were when you starting taking writing seriously?

06-02-2010, 05:51 AM
I used to write when I was little. As in - almost as soon as I was old enough to write.

I still have my school diary from year one - every few days we'd have to write an entry. It's got some classic stuff in there.

When I think about it, I've written on and off all my life - I only stopped in senior school when I was busy with exams, and since then, due to university work. If you include uni work, I've never really stopped.

Now that I'm close to the end of my masters degree, I'm writing again, and I should have more time to pursue that after july, which will be brilliant

06-02-2010, 05:55 AM
I wrote way, way younger than the lowest number on the poll.

I could read by the age of two and started writing stories when I was about 6 or 7.

I was a teenager when I wrote my first novel (it was shit) but hit my 30s before I hit my stride, found my genre and became good.

06-02-2010, 05:55 AM
I basically started last year. It was too strong an urge to be ignored. I wrote a 6K short and then churned out a 84K novel in a month - scared me half to death as I had no idea what was happening. Of course it's crap, but now I can't stop writing.

06-02-2010, 05:56 AM
I didn't start writing with publication in mind until last year. It was really a method of procrastination. I needed to be studying for an exam. Instead, I wrote a novel.

I was 28 at the time.

06-02-2010, 05:57 AM
I always wrote as a kid, but didn't think of it as a career until my mid twenties, when I studied screenwriting. (Acting had fallen by the wayside). But I dropped that for a while. I returned to it about a year ago, and have determined I just can't give up this time. I'm in for life.

06-02-2010, 06:01 AM
I started writing at age 7. I started really writing at about 14. So yeah, way younger than this poll allows.

I'm 21 now and not published yet, but someday I will be. I've been doing lots of maturing in the meantime.

06-02-2010, 06:01 AM
I won my first contest at 6, so I started MUCH younger than the poll.

I first decided to work towards publication when I was 14 and got my first rejection letter at 15.

I've won/placed in several contests and had a small press publication when I was 39. It was a very UNsatisfactory experience.

At 40, I decided to reassess my writing progress and figure out why I wasn't hitting my mark of selling to NY publishers and took my work out of the submission game.

At the moment, I've rediscovered the joys of writing NOT for publication, but for all the selfish reasons I ignored when I focused on publication so young. Doesn't mean I'm not serious about doing my best--but the challenge of finding my best is more important to me right now than trying to market the story.

06-02-2010, 06:03 AM
I started writing when I had my hyperlexia resolved (before then, every second story I wrote was written in a made up language) and I allowed my emotional fonts to open. So about my 20's.

06-02-2010, 06:08 AM
I started writing around age 11/12, but didn't take it seriously until I was 17 or so and decided I wanted to be a screenwriter. That goal changed to novelist around age 22.

06-02-2010, 06:11 AM
bad ages in your poll.

i started years before 15. many years before 15.

06-02-2010, 06:20 AM
I've always doinked around with writing stories and I wrote some truly horrid fantasy novels in middle school just to entertain myself and my friends...but I got really serious about writing to get published when I was 28, and sold my first two short stories pretty quickly thereafter. I'm 30 now.

06-02-2010, 06:58 AM
14 when I decided to be professionally impoverished.

Man, there seems to be a lot of writers on this website.

06-02-2010, 07:06 AM
I started writing and loving as a little kid (around eight or so). Though I started thinking about pursuing it as a profession just this year so...at age sixteen. :D

06-02-2010, 07:12 AM
I started story-telling when I was a very young kid and learned quickly that it entertained folks. Unfortunately, I thought people wouldn't care about listening to what you made up, so I was a devilish little liar :D My mom suggested that we write them down instead of telling folks they really happened ;)

Writing for publication? Just recently, really. I always thought my stories had too much that folks had to know me/be like me to like. I posted to a bunch of strangers a few times and learned that wasn't true. So I'm in the early stages of writing for everyone I don't know. Why not?! :D

ETA: I'll be 40 this year. That sounds waaay too old, but that's 40 for you, I hear.

06-02-2010, 07:55 AM
At 5: According to my mom I declared I was going to be a writer. I wrote my first "book", a rip off of Peter Pan. I couldn't write all the words so my mom played secretary and wrote them for me.

At 12: After having completed a lot of bad poetry and shorts, I wrote my first attempt at a novel, sent it to an editor or agent (I can't remember which one and have since lost the letter) who sent me a critique of what kinds of things I was doing wrong and right.

At 14: I attended the creative writing program at the California State Summer School for the Arts. I was also at work on my next novel.

All of that's before 15. I think the poll should have started at a younger age.

06-02-2010, 08:01 AM
I know I wrote some stuff as a kid, but I never had the gumption to seriously stick to it. I began in my 30's.... a serious lack of confidence shut me down several times, but for about 3 years I've been going at it full throttle. I'm finally going to start subbing soon.

Chasing the Horizon
06-02-2010, 09:21 AM
I started writing when I was 19. I simply couldn't take living in reality anymore, and writing was cheaper than drugs. :D

Ryan David Jahn
06-02-2010, 09:48 AM
I think I was ten or so.

06-02-2010, 09:49 AM
What happened to the 'under 15' option? :D

I was 7 when I consciously discovered I have a knack for words, though my mother says she observed it much earlier. (She says that by age 3, I was using words she didn't know the meaning of.)

I was 10 when I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, and I was 12 when I decided I wanted to write for teenagers. (Brilliant irony there, eh? LOL!) 13 when I took my first creative writing class, 14 when I took my first journalism class, and 15 (whew, got there) when I took my first magazine writing class.

Mr Flibble
06-02-2010, 10:39 AM
I started writing um 6 years ago, when I had ME. It was write or shoot that woman off Car Booty on the telly.

06-02-2010, 10:50 AM
I wrote my first novel at 13-14 and if you count submitting to publishers as writing "seriously" I was doing that while I was still at school.

I started writing short stories (other than a few earlier attempts) at 24 and sold my first one at 26.

I haven't sold a novel, but I recently returned to writing them after a gap of 15 years or so.

Wayne K
06-02-2010, 10:59 AM
I wrote a novel at 14, then put writing aside for 30 years.

At least I'm good at making up for lost time :)

06-02-2010, 12:59 PM
I got serious at around fourteen, but I think I've been writing stories since forever. I wrote my first (terrible, crappy, horrific) novel when I was ten, but I wasn't intending to get that published.

06-02-2010, 02:11 PM
bad ages in your poll.

i started years before 15. many years before 15.

I'm starting to realize that! I never would have thought anyone would have taken writing so seriously before the age of 15. you guys are something else :)

06-02-2010, 02:14 PM
I started writing when I was 19. I simply couldn't take living in reality anymore, and writing was cheaper than drugs. :D

and a lot healthier :)

06-02-2010, 02:23 PM
I'm starting to realize that! I never would have thought anyone would have taken writing so seriously before the age of 15. you guys are something else :)

When I was about 8ish I decided I was either going to be the next Louisa May Alcott, Roald Dahl or Vincent Van Gogh. I still haven't decided, but I've been pretty serious about it ever since. I'm thinkin' I'd look horrid in a dress, so I'm going for one of the other two. Since this discussion is about writing, I'll go with Dahl for now. (-:

06-02-2010, 03:09 PM
I wrote my first story when I was 7. I'd write little things for my dolls later on but it wasn't until highschool when I started getting serious. My 9th grade English teacher had us do creative writing assignments every couple weeks. that's what got me going. I spent high school writing fanfiction (well okay so college too) and wrote my first novel at 18.

I've written 8 novels total since then.

06-02-2010, 03:18 PM
Like many people here, I started writing when I was really young and won some awards. I didn't seriously start thinking about my own original writing until I was a teenager, and even then I was too afraid to start taking it seriously as a future profession.

(Even if I told everyone I wanted to be a writer.)

Again, in college I took another step towards writing by outlining novel ideas and writing short stories, but I never sent them anywhere.

It wasn't until 3 years ago I got over the hurdle of submitting. And only now do I consider myself taking writing seriously as a profession, even as a part-time one.

I get caught up in my own self-doubt too much.

06-02-2010, 03:51 PM
I started writing um 6 years ago, when I had ME. It was write or shoot that woman off Car Booty on the telly.No disrespect to your books, but I say you took the wrong path.

06-02-2010, 04:05 PM
I was 7 or 8. On holidays with my family, and it was raining. I made up a story for my younger brothers about a rabbit and his friends, and wrote it into a copybook. Decided that when I grew up I would be a writer.

Feck, that means I've spent nearly three decades as an unpublished writer (if you don't count the odd non-fiction article). That's what happens when you let real life get in the way of the important stuff!

06-02-2010, 04:19 PM
I wrote as a little kid but if you're talking serious writing, then I was about 16, I think.

06-02-2010, 04:24 PM
I've been writing my whole life, since when I could operate a pen. I've got tonnes of embarrassingly bad adolescent stories.

But I picked 31+ because before that I'd just written for fun. Never really cared about editing or reading any books on the craft... or analyse writing in general, outside school.

06-02-2010, 04:35 PM
I've been writing since I was five (still have my first story published in the school year book). But I didn't seriously take it back up again and seek publication for fiction until I was in my late 30s.

06-02-2010, 04:47 PM
When I was 4 I made my first picture book without words because I didn't know how to write yet. I still have some of the picture books I made when I was 6 or 7 with words, and they are hilarious. I wanted to be an author and illustrator so bad!

I made my first novel attempt when I was 9. It was a kind of breakthrough because I had been reading so many novels at the time and was a literary sponge. 57 written pages in a notebook, and a few passages are some of best, purest writing I've ever done.

Maybe that's because it was a joy at the time, not complicated by adult angst and self-consciousness like it is for me now. I need to get back to that place...

06-02-2010, 05:38 PM
I started when I was about 8 or 9. I had Nancy Drew on the brain, and came up with my own girl detective, Martha Newman. Even illustrated it myself. Her best friend had the last name Segal.

My wonderful, racist mother yelled, "Why did you give them all Jewish names for God's sake?"

I didn't know which names were which, I just picked ones I liked. I didn't write anything again for years, because I was always afraid I'd pick a "wrong name."

When I got to high school, I had the most wonderful English teacher. He fostered my gift, and told me he really wanted to see me do something with it. He told me he thought I wrote like Eudora Welty. What a gift to give a student!

Started another in college about a 1930s movie star who was murdered, and then a WWI era European thing in the late 1980s.

My problem was that I never finished anything I started. And there it sat. It wasn't until this last year that I really sat down and made myself work... EVERY DAY. With the help of Fizzy and some other folks on this site, who taught me the Butt in Chair principle. Now, I have one finished, one at 71,000 words, and 2 or 3 others really taking shape. And I no longer speak to my mother.


06-02-2010, 06:01 PM
I had one of those mothers too. I started writing at about age seven and my mother told me to go outside and play like a "normal" kid. No encouragement, nada, zero. Started writing and publishing at age 38 and never stopped.

I was interested in being an actress also, but my kind mother informed me that actresses are very beautiful women and I should think of another career. To this day I can barely look in a mirror.


06-02-2010, 06:19 PM
Mothers. Who'd have 'em?

Mine didn't care what I did as long as I stayed out of her way. So reading and writing were ideal activities. Anything that didn't encroach on her life.

06-02-2010, 06:25 PM
Mothers. Who'd have 'em?

Mine didn't care what I did as long as I stayed out of her way. So reading and writing were ideal activities. Anything that didn't encroach on her life.

Sounds like the three of us could start our own club. :rolleyes:

06-02-2010, 06:33 PM
I wrote way, way younger than the lowest number on the poll.



06-02-2010, 07:27 PM
This is a hard one because I have written on and off for most of my life. In my teens I went through a period of seriously, almost religiously writing every day but that fell away through having no way to show it off. Again in my twenties I took up writing. This time it was poetry and just for myself. I piblished a small booklet for my local church after much encouragement from friends who also attended the church. Then after losing all my work through personal troubles I didn't write until I had my children and again began to write. This time I could not stop, from writing stories for my two kids to now creating for myself. It is a hobby that I get a lot of enjoyment from and has been part of me for too long. Like an old friend, you may not see them for a while but you still are friends, that is what writing has been to me over the years.

Margarita Skies
06-03-2010, 12:30 AM
I wrote my first short story when I was 11 years old. After that, every few days or so after doing my homework when I got home from school, I would write a short story just for entertainment, so I spent all my teenage years writing short stories, which I never kept because, again, I was writing just because I was bored. :ROFL: Then, I had my first attempt at a novel when I was 18. Lost that story. When I graduated high school, at almost 19, I wrote another novel which I also lost before finishing it. From ages 19 - 21, I would write novels that for some reason never got finished because I would lose access to them somehow, corrupted diskettes, etc. Real headache and frustration. My heart broke every time I lost a work. Then, when I turned 21 I had my first FINISHED novel!! Yay!! Since then I have 30 manuscripts, 5 of those unfinished, and I am working on the unfinished ones now. In 2005 I lost another novel which was complete, and that hurt even worse. Right now I am thinking of rewriting it.

Midnight Star
06-03-2010, 11:56 PM
I started writing between 8 and 10 years old, but I really started to get into it a few years ago.

06-04-2010, 12:49 AM
I was much younger than 15. It was something that was in my blood from birth and came out as soon as I could hold a pencil. I simple had to write and it didn't matter what, once I was writing.

06-04-2010, 03:41 PM
Man, there seems to be a lot of writers on this website.

Well, it is called Absolute WRITE

Margarita Skies
06-04-2010, 05:10 PM
Well, it is called Absolute WRITE

When I saw what you quoted when you replied to this I couldn't help but to :roll:!!

06-04-2010, 08:21 PM
Not counting my diary, which I kept on-and-off since I was 7..., I was in my twenties. I count NaNo 2006 as my first real writing. It's still a crap novel, and not even finished.

I did write when I was younger, and some things in high school, but never very serious.

06-04-2010, 09:29 PM
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure when I started writing seriously. I do know I was around 14 or 15 when I started SUBMITTING.

06-05-2010, 09:49 AM
In fifth grade my teacher made us each write a poem. Most people wrote about flowers or trees or their mothers. I wrote "I Knew a Gnu" about a gnu and his best friend (a flea). I was hooked from then on.

Mann Crux
06-05-2010, 08:51 PM
Around the age of thirteen. And that stuff was terrible.

06-06-2010, 12:39 AM
woah, i did post xD

06-08-2010, 12:02 PM
I produced my first story at 4, penned my first novel at 11 and won my first competition at 12. I wrote fiction sporadically throughout my teens and then stopped when boys came on the scene.

~Long gap involving many jobs, copious relationships and lots of partying~

Started to play with words again around 5 years ago, and decided to aim for publication a year and a half ago.

06-08-2010, 02:22 PM
I would vote but you don't have an option for me - I started writing when I was nine. I wrote a series about a girl and her horse fully illustrated too :D
I wanted to be published wayyy back then, but had no clue how to do that and no one to support my dream- I wish I still had those early works, but my parents threw them away- thought they were trash:Huh:

06-13-2010, 06:30 PM
Just last fall, I wrote a four-page response to an English prompt that asked me to jot down my hopes and dreams--it focused on my upbringing, my search for a forte, the moment I decided I was going to become a writer (I was about fourteen), and how I imagined my future to turn out when I got there. But it's rather long, and I wouldn't want to stretch the page. So, yeah. Fourteen. But I've been reading for far longer.

06-13-2010, 09:28 PM
I'm not sure if I already posted in here, but I'm going to now anyway :)

I couldn't vote on the poll because it didn't have an option for me. I started writing when I was in 2nd grade :)

06-22-2010, 12:19 AM
I can't remember not writing. I remember getting a ghostbusters notebook and pencil set when I was very young and laying on the living room floor writing a story about Slimer. I wrote on and off (but mostly on) throughout my childhood but I guess I was about 15 / 16 when I thought it might be something I could do for more than fun.

06-22-2010, 12:32 AM
I loved writing stories from first or second grade. I remember showing my father one of those first stories and his reaction to my tale about an ordinary earth child marrying an alien prince and having a bunch of weird-looking/deformed kids. He was horrified and was the first person to ask me "why not write something nice?"

Needless to say, even though I still wrote stories and really, really sappy poems all through school, I believed my parents and most of my teachers when they said I had to get a "real" job. So my stories stopped being written down and lived in my head during long drives and sleepless nights.

15 years into my "real" job, the need to put my stories to paper came back, stonger than ever. It was only when the very select people I shared them with encouraged me to look into having them published did I take myself seriously. Well, as seriously as I take anything. :D

Word Jedi
06-28-2010, 09:49 PM
I loved writing stories from first or second grade. I remember showing my father one of those first stories and his reaction to my tale about an ordinary earth child marrying an alien prince and having a bunch of weird-looking/deformed kids. He was horrified and was the first person to ask me "why not write something nice?" :D

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, the TV series "Lost in Space" premiered. I really loved that show (work with me here, I was 8 years old) enough that I wrote my own story about an astronaut walking on the moon, who was running out of oxygen in his suit.

06-28-2010, 09:54 PM
I started my series that i still write when i was 11 going on 12. Guess it kind of evolved from my daydreams sitting in class bored then spiraled way out of control till i wrote it all down. My friend jokes that my MC's were my imaginary friends that i changed into book characters, guess she's a little right hehehehe.

06-29-2010, 09:50 AM
If you count poetry, I think I wrote my first poem when I was around three or four, as a present for my dad. When I was a kid, I was more of a poetry writer. I filled up a few notebooks by the time I was 14 (terrible poetry, though). I first tried actually putting stories to paper when I was ten or eleven, and really went forward with it when I was 13.

That was just when I realized I could actually write my stories, though. I've been coming up with stories all my life. I used to entertain myself during boring errands with my mom by thinking them out.

06-29-2010, 11:11 AM
I've always told stories (I made them up and retold them to so many people... it was kinda funny.). I wrote my first one down when I was a kid. I can't remember when, but I was waaaay younger than 15. I know I told my first verbal story to someone when I was 4 or 5. Written word... I can't exactly remember.

06-29-2010, 10:39 PM
Writing didn't occur to me until I was nine. I wrote two short novels before I was out of elemetary school, they weren't any good of course. Haha. Since then, it's just what I do.

Eddyz Aquila
07-01-2010, 12:55 PM
Started writing as a hobby when I was 13. Started seriously writing 4 years later, and after one year I had my first completed novel. This happened only 3 months ago. :)

07-02-2010, 03:25 AM
I was just turning 11 when I wrote my first real story. I've been writing ever since.

07-04-2010, 02:09 AM
I started at eight. It's my teacher that convinced me. I didn't take her advice to writing seriously until I was 11, but I wrote short stories and poetry. I took up writing my first book at 13.

07-07-2010, 11:30 PM
I started writing at about 6 years old. I used to have a notebook I carried around to put stories in. I remember writing a really long one (well, for a 6 year old) about a boy who had a magic box that opened into other worlds.
I started writing seriously at 16, and I'm 20 now. :)

Georgia Lee
07-07-2010, 11:48 PM
I wrote part of a novel in eighth grade. I wrote tons of songs & poetry throughout highschool. But I didn't get back into writing until about 6-8 months ago - at age 27.

I think it's probably a good thing... years of reading tons of books - all in the genres I'm interested in writing - will surely help me along the way.

07-08-2010, 08:46 AM
I've yet to complete a novel, but I've been writing short stories since elementary school. About dog princesses and boys training dragons. :P

07-08-2010, 10:12 AM
I've always liked writing but didn't start writing seriously (as in, aiming for publication) until last year when I was 19.

Shady Lane
07-08-2010, 07:03 PM
I started writing seriously when I was ten and finished my first ms at 11.

Margarita Skies
07-11-2010, 02:12 AM
I started writing seriously when I was ten and finished my first ms at 11.

That is awesome!! :Thumbs:

07-12-2010, 09:13 AM
I started writing obsessively since nine and I never really stopped. Even/especially as a teenager. I've written three books, countless short stories for classes, and endless slew of fanfic. Writing isn't a hobby for me. Its another way of breathing.

07-12-2010, 05:31 PM
I always wrote short stories growing up and even wrote a few novellas when I was a teenager. I started writing seriously, as in seeking out agents and publishers, when I was 21. I'm 23 now and agented. I'm yet to be published but I'm hoping that will come in the next few years :)

It's funny; I think there are a greater number of younger writers trying to get published than there used to be. Perhaps it's down to the success of writers like J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Myer that’s inspired so many to try it. I know that’s not true for me, I can’t remember a time that I didn’t dream of growing up and becoming an author but I think people are more likely to accept it as a serious career now, despite the fact that most writers have a second job.

Anya S
07-12-2010, 05:39 PM
I started writing when I was in 4th grade - mostly stuff I wish would happen because I was picked on as a kid ...

07-12-2010, 11:20 PM
I wrote stories when I was six or so, but I got hung up on the illustrations rather than the words.

Then when I was eleven I wrote a hugely derivative story about three girls who grow apart. It was maybe thirty pages and I cried upon finishing it.

Ah, youth... (Oh wait.)