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How Did You Become a Writer?

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    How’d you know this was it for you? Have you always known? Did you figure it out later in life?

    I started writing stories when I was seven. I was dreaming about them way before that. When I was in Jr. High, I started to feel like it might be something I wanted to do more seriously. I played with it in High School, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I sat down and started to write for real. I got frustrated pretty quickly and the suckiness of my writing so everything I tried, I pretty much failed.

    Then, three years ago I entered my first Nano. I didn’t finish, but it set me on the path of writing more seriously. Last year is when I finally made the commitment to myself and to my writing to try to get good enough to be published.

    I’m on that road right now. I still have a long way to go in terms of improving my writing and learning how to write a good story, but with four awful novels under my belt, the fifth one I’m working on, is my closest attempt yet.

    How about you?


    Barbara G.Tarn

    I started writing in the late 70s, my first “official” story (which included illustrations) is from the summer of 1978. I have a bookshelf of notebooks from the 80s, and another bookshelf with manuscript either typed with a manual typewriter or on the computer. So I’ve been writing nonstop ever since, but for 25 years only in my mother tongue (Italian). Then a rejection from a publisher gave me this idea of writing in English… and here I am, ten years later, indie publishing at last (after attempts at comic book zines in the 1990s)! πŸ˜€
    I’m a writer but also an artist, so I do both novels and graphic novels… guess I never really grew up… and I consider myself married to Mr Writing! πŸ˜‰



    Like xaenyth, I was writing as soon as I could hold a pencil – and I used to dream about stories too. I suppose the turning point for me was when my fifth grade teacher was so impressed with a story I’d written she took out books on writing for me from the library. She told me I was a writer and I guess I believed her. LOL.

    Been a lot of ups and downs but I now make my living as a writer (copy writing) though I’d rather make my living as an author – still working on that. πŸ˜‰



    I don’t really know. I found a story I was working on when I was about twelve (maybe younger). I do know that I would pretend these awesome stories about a girl I wish I could have been (she was so much cooler than me). As time grew on, I began writing different stories about a girl like that one. I actually trashed the main one about her, because it was so crappy and I had forgotten where I wanted to go with her. But I remember running through the woods acting like someone was chasing me and stuff like that. I was doing this when I was pretty little, because I remember the girl was really cool for a ten year old, which would have been older than me at the time.


    Kenra Daniels

    I dictated my first stories to my mother as a preschooler, and filled her letter tablets with page after page of “writing”, every line packed with scribbles – my attempt at cursive writing. A little later, when I could spell a few words, probably about 5yrs, I stapled pages together and made my own “books”.

    I’ve been writing ever since, though fiction took a backseat to being wife and mother, and to my career, for a long time. I still wrote short stories, and beginnings of novels, but didn’t make any serious attempts. Then in 2009, I got serious and wrote my first paranormal romance. It was a major learning experience, since I had forgotten a lot of the finer points of writing over the years. I’m working on my fourth PNR now, and the 3rd is on sub.



    Boredom. Seriously.

    When I was in grade school I used to write all the time. I even had loyal readers from my class. Somewhere along the line, creativity got shelved in favor of practicality. I still loved English classed, and in college, nothing made me happier than seeing my grade would be based on essays, but writing fiction was really the furthest thing from my mind.

    Fast forward through one very demanding business career to when I had my daughter and quit so I could stay home with her. She was a horrible sleeper, which left me with no time to myself, but about a year later that changed. I suddenly found myself with free nights and nothing to do (husband travels for work). One day this premise stuck in my head, and I decided to start writing it out. That ms sucked. I stopped writing the sequel when I realized the first one sucked. My third is resting and I’m about 13k into the fourth! As of right now, I don’t think either of them suck.


    I wrote a lot when I was younger…like under 12. Lots of fun, nutty stories about monsters and creatures from outer space. Right around 12/13, my dance program got more rigorous (I started at 4) and I didn’t write again until I was 22 and in the hospital recovering from some veeeery tricky injuries. Hoo boy, I wrote some pissy and angsty stuff while coming back from that. It was fine, though…five years later I’ve got three (and a half, but let’s never talk about the half) full drafts of stuff, plus a lot of short stories.

    Plus now I totally get to write a YA novel about evil clique-y dancer girls πŸ˜€



    Wow. I feel like the odd man out. I didn’t write as a child, not at all. But I read voraciously. I would devour 2-3 of those MG horsey books a night. And lots of fantasy as well.

    In school, I had a knack for writing essays. I was the go-to source when a classmate needed help (or a complete rewrite). A high school English instructor — Mr. Strange was his name — once pulled me aside after class and said something to the effect of “You know, you could really be a writer someday.” I didn’t believe him, didn’t think it was a viable career.

    But being a starving artist or a starving horse trainer was? Yeah, tried those.

    So it wasn’t until my daughter was born that I started freelance writing. I had lots of free time. Plus, I had always been good at it, right? Turned out I still was (at least my clients think so!). But this time, I wasn’t just good — I loved what I was doing.

    One day an idea popped into my head for a story and wouldn’t let go. And now I’m here among a fantastic group of gals tryin’ to wrangle that story into submission. πŸ˜‰


    Jasmine Fahmy

    I’ve always made up stories. I had my school convinced I had a little sister and four pet bunnies when I was little, and told all these tales about life in Egypt that weren’t the least bit true. After my Dad came along and ruined my stories for me during a parent/teacher meeting, my teacher laughed and said I’d make a great writer someday.

    Let’s hope she’s right about that. πŸ˜€

    I used to play out scenes with my Barbie dolls too (hush, we all had them, don’t deny it) until, at the age of ten, I put down The Prisoner of Azkaban and decided, ‘I can do that.’ Or something along those lines, anyway. Thus began my first fanfic, rife with Mary Sues and purple prose and cheesy lines and all that wonderful stuff we have to get out of our systems. It was also the only novel-length project I actually finished. Ever.

    I’ve been writing ever since. I’m eighteen now (or almost eighteen. Can’t wait till October) and trying very hard to focus on just one or two projects and actually finish them. Let’s see how that goes.



    lol… I told my Kindergarten class that I had two pythons :p I think I kept that up for a couple of years, but I don’t think anyone believed me. Still, my make-believe pythons were awesome! =D



    @Dawn – Your story about the pythons made me remember my make-believe fantasy characters (unicorns, trolls, etc.) that I tried to make the rest of my class believe were there. So corny. Pythons are way cooler!



    I wasn’t a writer as a child either Jessica. I was a reader (I read the horsey books too!), making my parents take me to the library at least one ever two weeks so I could check out another massive stack of books.

    While I didn’t write as a child, or at least until I was about twelve, I did spend hours and hours making up stories with my younger brother. We created worlds and lives for all of our stuffed animals, toys, and later ourselves. We were super heroes and space explorers, every new game becoming more and more complex with deeper myths and histories and magic systems.

    Then, when I was twelve or so, I started trying to write down my stories. I wrote a book (which was 21 pages long) that year and started many other stories. But I never thought I wanted to make a living writing. I wanted to be a horse breeder and trainer (another commonality to you @jessicafriday πŸ™‚ ), or a teacher, or a youth pastor. And it was frowned upon in my family to want to write fantasy. It took me a long time to break out of that.

    So I wrote for fun when I was bored. I was a junior in college before I finally changed my major to English and began taking this idea of writing for a living seriously. And I chose to write fantasy, of all things. πŸ˜‰



    @kaylinn57 – Thanks for sharing — I feel a bit less lonely now that I’m not the only non-lifelong writer. πŸ™‚



    Oh I remember growing up in a Christian home. I’m still a Christian, but some of the fantasy stuff was a bit slow going over with my mother, which was odd since she loved the Dragon Riders of Pern books. It took her a while to let us watch Harry Potter, but now she loves the movies. I play Dungeons and Dragons now, but she didn’t used to want me to play or be associated with it because of the bad rep it had. Now, she thinks it’s fun! She loves fantasy, but as things came out, they were slightly taboo.

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