"When did you start writing?" In interviews, whether radio, television, newspaper, or blog, that question is usually asked at some point.
I most often answer, "I've been writing forever."
As I think about it, I always enjoyed writing lengthy answers on test papers in school. In high school, I wrote short stories, was school reporter for the local newspaper and editor of the school newspaper. In early adulthood, I stumbled accidentally into a freelance writing job for a city newspaper. Although I was busy writing and had a small but steady newspaper income, I never dreamed of becoming a novelist. That happened completely by accident.
When our youngest daughter was 14, I received a call from the local community college, inviting her to participate in a creative writing class they were offering. A gifted writer, she was recommended for the class by her high school English teachers. Since the college was 10 miles away and she wasn't old enough to drive, I decided to take her. Because I would be at the school with her, I enrolled in the class with her.
I loved the class; I loved the instructor; I started a novel. My daughter was less impressed and did not continue after that quarter, but I stuck with it. I wrote my novel and had each part of it critiqued along the way. The instructor, the late Jane Deringer, was inspiring. She got me involved in travel writing, a critique group, starting two writers clubs in the area, and much more.Years later, the novel I started in that class was published.
When did my writing career actually begin? Was it when I wrote a poem in third grade and was asked to recite it in front of the entire school? Was it when I won awards for my short stories in high school? Was it when I fell into the newspaper freelance job? Or was it when I met my mentor, Jane Deringer?
Perhaps it was each of those times.
Perhaps I became more of a writer at each rung of the ladder.
What about you? When did you become a writer?