When did you start to write?

This entry is part 1 of 14 in the series My writing journey

I’m sharing my writing journey. Come share yours, too!

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen an author interview where the author talks about how they’ve written stories since they were six years old and they remember it so well and they’ve written ever since, etc. etc.

I’ve always thought I’m not like them, that I came to writing a bit later, that maybe I’m not a “real” writer because I didn’t know how to type straight from the womb *wail*…

Writers are really neurotic, huh?

But the truth is, I think I might have always written. I remember before I could actually form letters and words, I would fill pages with horizontal squiggles, then use them as my “notes” to deliver my “newscasts.” My four-year-old, who’s currently learning her letters, does the same thing now to record her stories.

(You should hear the one about how she was born into the wrong family, a family of ghosts, made her escape, wandered in the woods, and finally found our house.)

I do remember quite vividly a first-grade assignment to write a book. I wrote about the make-believe game my sisters and I had played the day before with our family of Pound Puppies. (I remember the illustrations being excellent, but since visual art isn’t one of my skills, I can’t really comment on that!)

Remember these guys?

From there, I branched into short fiction—and onto the macabre side of the storytelling tree. I once made a birthday gift of a short short story about a haunted penny that brought only bad luck (Lincoln had fangs). I have almost no recollection of this, but my uncle insists I wrote a story about a baby getting caught in the cord of Venetian blinds (!!!). I also remember a short story about an ambulance driver on his first call who accidentally hits and kills a child on a bicycle. The driver sank into catatonic shock and eventually died, as well.

Apparently I didn’t know any other way to end a story back then. (I don’t even read horror or similar fiction now.)

Not long after this phase (which probably lasted from the time I was about eight until twelve), however, I found a new inspiration to write, and left the gore and macabre behind for something a whole lot lighter.

More about that in the next installment!

When did you start “writing”? What was your early writing like? Have you ever left a genre or style behind? Come join the conversation!

Pound Puppies photo by Meagan

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4 thoughts on “When did you start to write?”

  1. The first thing I remember writing (other than school assignments) was a love poem in middle school. There was no form to it, other than every other line rhymed. I did this for a couple of years before switching to short stories. It isto now 10 years later, and I have just started writing my first novel.

  2. Like you, I started way back when, in grade school. About ten years ago, I had a two-year spell where I couldn’t write a thing, and it frightened me – I thought the well had run dry! Don’t know what I’d do without stories!

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