How I started writing

For as long as I can remember I have always had a fascination with words.  I recall stories off my mom telling me how from the age of two I loved books, I was always reading and if I couldn’t get a book I would read anything else I could – the label on the ketchup bottle, cereal boxes, the writing that came on the television with adverts (which I would also sing along too – I never watched the programmes, just the adverts and I knew every ‘jingle’ by heart! lol)

This passion for reading soon became a passion for writing when I started school.  I wrote many pieces of poetry and short stories in school, I don’t have many examples of this work but one I did find is a poem I wrote when I was 10 – the first poem I wrote on a ‘computer’!  We were so excited in school to get the first computer in our classroom and printing your first piece of work off it seemed like ‘magic’!

Why - by Me age 11

If I had nothing of my own to write about I would copy sections out of books and add my own pictures.  Later I would use other books to write my own version of the story, or write a follow-on piece – what happened next to the characters of the book. In my teens this developed into writing my own screenplays for follow-on films – such as a sequel to ‘The Lost Boys‘ (nothing like what they have now done with ‘The Tribe’ and ‘The Thirst’, but then they didn’t have my screenplay! hehe) Here is an example of one of my stories written about ‘Puffalumps‘ when I was 11.  I used to play ‘schools’ with my neighbour and we would set each other writing tasks then mark each others work, it was great fun.

Puffalumps story - by me age 11

As I moved into senior school my writing began to take a new form, I would write essays about things we hadn’t covered in lessons, just for fun.  I would also create ‘books’ about subjects using empty school exercise books and challenging myself to fill the whole book on a subject during a holiday week, amazingly I still have one of these books!  This one is about ‘Canada’ most of them where about places I’d like to visit, or Geography topics – my passion at around the age of 13 was the ‘World’ and I began to ‘collect’ penpals who I could write to all around the world.  By the time I was 15 I had over 200 penpals, I would write 5 or 6 letters every day!  I would spend most of my free time sat in the library pouring over the ‘reference only’ books and writing about anything that captured my interest – only to become frustrated that the library’s collection was not ‘recent’ enough!

Canada book - by me age 13

You can see another example of my writing as a teenager in my earlier post ‘Cassie‘ written when I was 14, and other short stories in the category ‘Micro-stories‘.

As I settled into family life my penpal habits began to die off (I’m still in contact with one in Canada, but now on Facebook rather than writing letters – it’s just not the same though!)  I just didn’t have the time to write to 200 people anymore, but I did continue writing, although now it was mainly for my studies again, with the occasional essay written for fun, or attempts to start writing a book (numerous times I started writing books I never finished!).  When I finally got ‘online’ with the internet my writing habits grew again, I now had much easier access to ‘research’ for my writing, no longer did I have to spend hours sat in the library with out of date materials – but I had to learn very quickly how to judge what was ‘accurate’ ‘quality’ content online.  Now it is even worse than then, these is so much ‘junk’ on the internet recognising good, accurate, content is a lesson on it’s own.

With the internet and email I renewed my penpal passion a little – making new friends online, in the early days it was MSN chat rooms, then Myspace (where I began blogging), eventually moving on to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress – now my ‘online’ staples…

I’ve never submitted any of my writing to competitions, for publishing or anything that would earn me money for writing – maybe this is something I should look into, but I don’t pin any hopes on it, we all know how notoriously difficult it is to make ‘writing’ pay!! Ahh, but the joy if you do… 😉

Now the #30DayBlog challenge has encouraged me to write more than ever and I am really pleased with the results and how much others are interacting with my writing – Thank you all!

I still think I will write a book… eventually… actually I am working on one again – lets see if I can stick with it this time!? What about you? Do you write; for fun, for a living? Why not drop me a line and tell me how you got started and if you have had any success getting published?

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