Earlier this week, I read parts of a discussion on Josh Lanyon’s facebook page about changes in the writing/publishing world over the past few years (perhaps this is specific to the m/m romance genre, but perhaps not). Basically, Josh has noticed a trend of people going from readers to read-and-reviewers and then to writers themselves–the idea being that self-publishing and the internet have made it a lot easier for anyone to try their hand at the “writing” game.
I thought this was interesting. It made me think of how many different “paths” there are to become a writer, so I thought this week I would share an abbreviated history of myself as a writer.
When I was a wee sprite of a thing, I used to draw cartoons and tell stories on construction paper. These stories always featured Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals. I have no idea what the plots were, but since I was 4-5 years old, I imagine they were deeply introspective and profound. My mother still has these wonderful pieces of literature in a box in her basement. If anyone is interested, I’ll ask her to drag them out and scan me a few pages to share.
In second grade, I wrote stories in school for a project (the whole class did). I recall getting a compliment on one. It was about a fox. I also wrote one about a jellyfish whose kitchen cabinets were haunted, I think.
Fast forward to age 11, when I discovered anime.
…Need I say more? I think a lot of people in my age group have similar origin stories.
Within two days of discovering Dragonball Z, I wrote my first Dragonball Z fanfic. Things spiralled out from there. I wrote and published on fanfiction.net . The stories are still there. Don’t ask me for my screen name because I will take that secret to my grave.
The point to all this is that, for me, writing has always been in me. I enjoy reading, yes. If there is a writer in existence who does not enjoy reading, I feel sorry for them. But writing has been my first and foremost passion since I was old enough to string letters into words on paper. Writing is ingrained in the very fibers of my being. I write for myself and no one else–I have never cared if I have an audience, never cared if people liked my writing, never felt the need to seek validation from the opinions of others. It’s just something I do. Eat, sleep, write. I write, therefore I am. Or perhaps, I am, therefore I write?
But I know a lot of people don’t function that way. Not everyone has been writing since they could hold a crayon. A lot of people make that reader-to-writer transformation. A lot of people have an idea in their head for twenty years but never write a word.
So I’m curious. For those of you who write, how did you end up on this path? Are you a lifelong writer, or fairly new to the process? What nudged you to finally put words on the page for that idea you’ve been harboring? Let me know in the comments!