View Full Version : When Did You Start Writing Seriously?

William Haskins
03-27-2005, 05:38 AM
that's right, a poll. all information obtained will be used for nefarious purposes, and the veracity of your answers will be confirmed by the thought police.

...and i don't think i have to tell you what happens if you're caught in a lie.


p.s. if no choices apply to you, feel free to elaborate in your reply.

03-27-2005, 05:40 AM
oh crap...you mean I'm supposed to be writing seriously???

03-27-2005, 05:58 AM
I selected "after I turned 40" but really, it's because I'm about to turn 40 (and will never play in the NHL).

Another choice: "Once I realized no one would ever pay to hear me sing."


Mr Underhill
03-27-2005, 06:57 AM
You forgot:

☼ The minute I joined Absolute Write!

</blatant sycophancy>

03-27-2005, 07:04 AM
Who is this guy named Seriously and why should I be writing him? I don't even know him.

Don't think any of the options apply to me. I started writing seriously (loosely defined) in mid 2003, I guess.

What about you, William? Did you answer your own question? :)

William Haskins
03-27-2005, 07:16 AM
yes i answered, but i was flippant in my choice. it's a sickness.

i started writing stories and poems in second grade, and pretty much decided that it was what i was going to do with my life in 7th grade (long story, inspiring teacher and all that boring stuff).

sixteen years later and i'm still writing at a 7th grade level.

p.s. i selected the option where you can click on the number of votes (on the right) and see who voted how. that way, i can put it on your permanent record.

03-27-2005, 07:21 AM
I actually got serious about writing while pursuing an art degree (back in pioneer days.) I came to the unfortunate realization that I didn't have nearly as much talent for graphic arts as I'd formerly believed, and looked around and realized I not only was a fairly good writer, I liked it.

Mr Underhill
03-27-2005, 07:44 AM
What about you, William? Did you answer your own question?After Mr MacAllister here shewed unto me the way to the chamber of all AW knowledge, I discovered the secret method for learning how every one voted in polls. (Mr MacAllister voted for "Don't do any thing seriously"; Mr Haskins for "Get off my back"; and I think I should stop there.)

This is arguably a bug (no, it's a feature!), but since I doubt many people here have wombat tails to burn in myrrh, it may not be much of a problem.

03-27-2005, 07:53 AM
heh--why Mr. Underhill, you clever fellow!

(technically, it's Ms. MacAllister--but just Mac will suffice...:) )

03-27-2005, 07:59 AM
I started writing when I realized that no girls wanted to go out with me.

Brady H.

03-27-2005, 08:27 AM
Good question.

Itís the strangest thing. I would have never imagined myself to be a writer 3 years ago.

Two years ago I decided to make a lifestyle change and since I donít really enjoy TV but do read voraciously, somehow I got it into my mind that I would write a book. So I went and bought a couple of how-to books.

But it wasnít until about a year ago that I really became serious about it.

Now, sadly, my writing has become my addiction. It has grown until it now eclipses almost everything else in my life! I still shake my head over it. I really donít know how it happened.

It started simply enough. I figured what could it hurt? A few words here, a few words there Ė I mean, just whenever I was bored, of course. No problem. Just a harmless little pastime, a dalliance. I could quit anytime, I told myself.

But soon words were not enough. Next thing you know, I was doing clauses and sentences and then, before long, I was up to doing whole paragraphs a day.

Well, Iím sure weíve all seen this sad story before. Yes, I know Ė I was a fool. Proud and arrogant and unknowing, I thought I could handle it. I thought I could control it. I can admit it now, upright and freely, I was wrong.

Eventually paragraphs could not sustain me any longer. I began writing pages and pages. I could not help myself! Into the night I would sit huddled before my screen, pounding away at the keyboard like a madman, filled with glee as my dark cravings were satisfied.

And yet my desire still consumed me. I began to spend more and more time inside. Friends began to notice the startling change in me. I missed appointments. Didnít answer calls. Made excuses as to why I couldnít go out like I used to. I hid it from friends and family. I didnít have a problem, I swore to myself. Looking back, I can see now that I was in denial.

Soon it wasnít enough that I was staying up later than I should be, pursuing my habit, missing badly needed sleep and ignoring other duties I should have been attending to. I began carrying a notebook also, where I would jot down words, phrases and ideas; bits and pieces for my story Ė nothing to gorge me, mind you, just enough to whet my appetite until I could sit down for a proper fix.

Hahahahaha. Yes, I know. You are sitting there, reading my words and thinking:

ďYou blind fool! Did you not know the power that words contain?

Singly they seem harmless - delightful and beguiling as a puppy. But let them gather in numbers and before you know it, they will sweep you off your feet and carry you away to places you never dreamed of. They will enter your mind and take root, to eventually bear strange, new fruit. They will inspire new ideas and beliefs, and inflict upon you emotions that you might have wished better left undisturbed.

O fool of fools - that is not even the worst of it! For if their insidious grasp enters deeply enough they will build within you, like steam within a kettle, until they burst forth from you at odd hours of the night, unbidden. Until they make of you a vessel for their own propagation! Until they consume you and make you a puppet of their will!!!

Did you not know!!Ē

No I didnít. God help me, I didnít.

And so now I sit here, hopeless. Merely a vessel for these words which I, in my madness, foolishly let grow within me - until eventually I loose them upon an unsuspecting world.

Like a flower that throws itís seeds into the wind to hopefully find root in fertile soil elsewhere.

Like a tree that drops its fruit, its labours of love, to the ground to one day be picked up and enjoyed by anyl who pass by.

They control me now. They dictate my whims and desires.

O, turn away foolish reader. Turn away from these words now, before it is too late. Before your mind ingests them and they become enmeshed in your soul and take control of your life.

Before you become (sob!) a writerÖ..

03-27-2005, 08:29 AM
Where's the "all of the above" option?

03-27-2005, 10:49 AM
I started writing in the fourth grade after placing 6th in a school essay contest. I was about 17 when I started writing seriously. Of course, it wasn't until I was old enough to buy booze that my first poem got published. So I guess I picked the right choice.

03-27-2005, 11:54 AM
Define "seriously."

If the question is "when did you start writing with payment as your goal," then I started about seven or eight years ago. In that time I've only had to spend maybe two years total working away from the keyboard. But I've hated 90% of the writing jobs I've taken on.

If the question is "when did you start taking yourself seriously enough to begin writing what you enjoy, with payment as your goal," then the answer is...about three months.

I already know I can string words together well enough to get paid. I'm only now figuring out if I've got what it takes to tell a story. I'll keep you updated.

03-27-2005, 01:40 PM
I already know I can string words together well enough to get paid. I'm only now figuring out if I've got what it takes to tell a story.Galoot--me too.

aka eraser
03-27-2005, 07:39 PM
I chose the puberty-onward option because I wrote a weekly column about high school for the local paper when I was a teen. Having a forum and a byline was heady stuff.

This question got me thinking back (rarely a good thing).

I cashed my first cheque for writing in 1975, 30 (gulp) years ago.

I'm old.


Hold me.

03-27-2005, 07:47 PM
What about me, Frank? I'll hold you. :Hug2:

aka eraser
03-27-2005, 07:51 PM
Godblessya Poppy. :Hug2:

03-27-2005, 07:59 PM
yes i answered, but i was flippant in my choice. it's a sickness..
I was too, but I didn't realize you'd be adding it to my permanent record!

When I was about 14, I was sitting outside on our covered porch while it was thundering, lightning, and raining. (this was normal for me) It hit me (not the lightning) and I suddenly felt naked without a notebook and pencil. I ended up writing out there for most of my teenage years.

03-27-2005, 08:12 PM
Someone who should've known better told me I had a knack for writing when I was on my third maternity leave from a place I'd been for eight years. My brain was atrophying and my parenting was suffering from lack of interaction with adults. It's almost exactly four years to the day when I met her in a coffee shop and bought Writer's Market. After a few pieces were published and I won or placed in a couple of contests, I finally started believing it wasn't a fluke and yesterday, I can't believe how non-chalantly I told someone I could be with rejection (that was a lie though).

03-27-2005, 08:18 PM
Wishing I was more prolific. Seriously writing?--about 10 years ago. Writing to publish?--about 40 years ago. First check?--1970. I'm older than you, Frank. I figure you for 31--I'm 36. My, my, were WE precocious.

03-27-2005, 08:33 PM
Hug for Rich too. :Hug2:

03-27-2005, 10:45 PM
I cashed my first cheque for writing in 1975, 30 (gulp) years ago.

I'm old.


Hold me.

:Hug2: Aww. Frank, you are one of those individuals that will never be old.