I’ve written about why I stopped writing, but I only sort of hinted at how I started. Here’s my response to the famous “What made you decide to be a writer?” questions.
I started making up stories before I could write, and I acted out books and movies with my stuffed animals and Barbies. At a ridiculously young age, I was obsessed with history. Some of my stuffed animals fought in the Civil War, some of them crossed the country in covered wagons (um, a plastic shopping cart covered with a blanket), some might have even been gladiators.
On vacation one year, I made up “fractured nursery rhymes” to entertain everyone during the long drive to the beach. I don’t remember this, but it’s a favorite family story of how I’d start with a perfectly normal nursery rhyme and create a new ending. Something like: “Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider and crawled up her leg.”
When I got a little older, I drew stories based on whatever movie, TV show, or book I was into at the moment.
I read and wrote stories that I was too shy to share, but in sixth-grade, something clicked. My teacher gave us a spelling assignment where we had to write a story using our spelling words. I didn’t want to stop, and the next week I continued my story. It kept going until I had filled an entire notebook with a story about a kid who finds a sock-stealing ghost.
From then on, kept writing. I wrote through junior high and high school, but since the internet was young, I didn’t have much of a writing community. I had a best friend who loved to write as much as I did, and we exchanged stories. It wasn’t a widespread community like I have now, but it was fun.
Writing has always been part of me. I honestly can’t imagine life without it. The stories refuse to stop chasing me.