Reader Friday: Confession Time: Tell Us About When You First Wanted to Write

At what age do you remember thinking you wanted to write? What do you remember writing when you were younger?

baby-writingBe honest & share the real you.

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

27 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Confession Time: Tell Us About When You First Wanted to Write

  1. Around the age of ten. As far back as I could remember, I love hearing a good story and this developed into a love of reading. At ten, I started scribbling stories about the animals on our farm on bits of notebook paper. Unfortunately, I “shelved” my dream of being a writer for almost thirty years, thinking I could never be good enough.

    • Hi Joan. Your love of storytelling led to you reading? Wow, that’s different. I’ve read that most people who write started as ravenous readers. You must come from a long family line of storytellers. I’m glad you’re writing now. Put those good genes to use.

  2. The first serious piece of writing was around grade 5, so maybe 9 years-old. I wrote about a group of shoplifting teenagers and I was working for the department store trying to catch them. Never finished, of course. Took me thirty-some years to actually write an ending.

  3. In third grade I wrote “novels.” Pirate stories, Robin Hood, all illustrated (badly) by me. I’d staple the pages together. I even wrote an epic poem (meaning one full page) about the Knights of the Round Table. It rhymed and scanned, but I made a typo in the title, so now I have this masterpiece, framed, called The Knits of the Round Table.

    Anyway, I loved making up stories. Later, at age ten or eleven, we took a trip to Disneyland, and a guy was doing caricatures, and my parents let me have one done. The artist asked what I wanted to be doing. My dad suggested playing baseball. My mom, I think, said fishing. But I said, “Being a writer.”

    So I have this caricature of a young me at a typewriter, pages flying out of it.

    • Wow, you committed early. I LOVE this, Jim. Illustrator & writer, pre-spell check. And unheard of that a young lad would insist on being immortalized as a writer. You were too cool for school.

    • My brother Gnillii almost married the sister of one of those Knits once. She was short for a human, but still a little tall for a Leprechaun. That was great for Gnillii though as when she stood in front of him he whole field of view was filled with her rather massive….uh….cardigan.

      She was great at making sweaters though.

  4. Around age 12 or so. I remember sitting down at the beaten-up table in the family living room and writing a 5-6 page fantasy story about a young hero on some sort of quest. I can’t remember details, but I just started writing in earnest again two years ago. My second book is YA/NA fantasy, and the homeland is named after that character. Hopefully my skills have improved over the last 25 years!

  5. My brother Gnillii almost married the sister of one of those Knits once. She was short for a human, but still a little tall for a Leprechaun. That was great for Gnillii though as when she stood in front of him he whole field of view was filled with her rather massive….uh….cardigan.

    She was great at making sweaters though.

  6. I wrote very little until my mid-30s, but I have always been making up stories. From the time I was six or seven I was improvising very elaborate stories with details and characters and playing all the parts live for my friends. Later I did the same on stage acting out Bible and History characters and stories that I would flesh out before an audience. One of my favourite shows was when I played Dietrich Bonhoeffer with a script I’d only finished 30 minutes before the show. I had the sound & light tech project the script on the back wall of the church and scroll along with me in case I lost my place. By the end of the sixty minute show there was not a dry eye in the house (if you don’t know Bonhoeffer’s story, you should check it out). Another was when I performed the story of Jephthah from the book of Judges chapters 11 and 12, from memory. I had a real sword and the show included an impromptu war dance and song/chant accompanied by my bodhran that nearly had the teen boys in the front rows stomping around the fire with me.

    That said, actually sitting down to write didn’t occur to me until I was stuck in a job that had me sitting still in a cubicle world with nothing to do unless the computers broke or needed an upgrade, which was not often. Once I started writing though, there was no stopping me.

    • You’re all about the drama, Basil. You definitely are a storyteller with a great imagination. Hard to believe you came to writing in your 30s.

      I love how you started on the stage, so to speak. I found that an outlet too. My early years were on audio & video, scripted by me, summer projects I did with my siblings.

      Thanks for sharing.

  7. I started writing poetry in third grade. Awful poetry: “Oh flag in the sky, waving so high, guarding the land of the free.” Truly winceworthy, but praised way beyond its merits. I advanced to essays and in high school I wrote an essay about how adults start as swans and turn into ugly ducklngs. My teacher sent it to the New Yorker and it was published as a letter to the editor. My mother was shocked that she’d raised such a cynical daughter, but I had the fever. The nuns, bless them, guided me into a career in journalism. An excellent way to learn dialogue and how a city works. Or doesn’t. I was fired for insubordination in 1997 and became a mystery writer, my true home.

  8. I must have been around 7 or 8 and had difficulties learning to read. I became fascinated with making picture books. My mother would sew the pages together with yarn. I found this business with clocks and time rather dubious, as well. I continue to take that idea with a grain of salt. Circular argument, yunno.

  9. I was about 9 years old, I believe. I wrote a short story about a group of teens that get stranded from car trouble, and find an old house–of course, it haunted. It was horrible! Oh, they would do something, and have lunch; do something else and have dinner…etc. The teacher said that they sure did eat a lot! He was a jerk because he was so critical and making fun of me in front of the class. That didn’t stop me though. I continued to write short stories but never let anyone see them. Then I found Creative Writing 101 in college and took a few classes from a very fair but tough instructor. At the beginning of the class, he told everyone that he’d only seen one “A” paper, and he wrote it! He never was nasty with his criticism. He ended up giving me an A- on my last project. I asked him why I got the minus. He said so I wouldn’t stop trying to improve. He wrote a very nice recommendation for me when I applied for a scholarship to continue college, but I didn’t get it. I never did finish college, but he was instrumental in encouraging me to continue to write. It was until 2013 that I ever submitted anything and had my first short story published in an anthology.

  10. Frankly, I’m envious of all of you who discovered and believed in your talent for writing at an early age. You’ve had so much time to develop as writers. Of course, I wrote as a child and in school, loved doing it, received praise, won some contests, and was told I should be a writer, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the necessity of putting food on the table led me away from a writing career, although virtually every paid job I’ve had involved writing…but not fiction. (Anyone want to read a book about bankruptcy law and procedure in Canada? I didn’t think so.)

    It wasn’t until I was in my early fifties, when a friend told me about an idea she had for a book she’d never write that my brain and heart were hooked.

    I’m a musician, played the piano with a Cuban band in Cancun for three years, but as far as playing or spending a lot of time at the piano, I wasn’t compelled. Writing fiction is different. I am compelled to write…if two days pass without me being able to write, I’m the bitch from Hades.

    I often wonder why I didn’t discover this passion at an earlier age, but there’s no point in regretting my late start. How can you regret finding your passion at whatever age? At least you’ve found it. Many people never do.

    • Hi Sheryl. Don’t regret your late start. It takes life experiences to enhance your voice & confidence. I had a writing passion early but never thought of it as a career until I was in my 50s and looking for something else. I don’t think of my earlier years as wasted opportunity. I prefer to believe that gathering my life experiences has made me a better writer now and I’m grateful to be following a lifelong dream.

    • I started early with the interest and continued into the college classes, but after college, I was told to be practical. Don’t waste your time writing, I was told, it is never profitable until after you die anyway and it’s a crap shoot if you are even recognized. I realized this was probably true, and after college I “got a real job(s) and gave up on writing. I still wanted to write, but I came up with excuses why I couldn’t do it. Finally, like you, in my 50’s, I decided to get serious about writing. Then I ended up retiring early, so I had the time. So, I’m really starting now, because now I believe in myself and I never did before. 🙂

  11. I had a passion for books before I started school. I would plead to have the same stories read over and over until I could “read” them myself from memory. By the time I was 9, I developed the desire to write my own book. I never got close to finishing, but the writing and illustrating of it gave me many hours of blissful pleasure. A pure pantser back then may be what bogged down my progress. (I’m still a mix of pantser and plotter). In high school, I received encouragement from my favourite English teacher to keep writing. Even though my career path took me into nursing, I always had his words in the back of my mind and so over the years took various creative writing classes until decades later I finished my first book and started on the sequel. I think after all these years I may be getting the hang of expressing in story form what has always been a passion…and using fewer adjectives and adverbs to do it. With luck and perserverence (and continued helpful hints from mentors like you at TKZ) this passion will carry me into my dotage.
    It is nice to see what brought each of us to this shared experience of writing.

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