Monday, March 23, 2009

When Did You Get the Writing Bug?

I'm always curious about other writers. I cut out articles about my favorite authors, check out websites featuring writers' journeys, and follow author blogs. Yes, I'm fascinated with writers.

Is Anybody Home?
Photo by pinksherbet

What's one of the first questions authors are asked when being interviewed? That's easy: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

What about you? When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Did it creep up on you? Did it slap you in the face when you were ten? Or maybe you were thirty and it suddenly didn't seem as impossible as you once thought? Maybe the kids grew up and you found yourself with time on your hands?

I didn't know right away, which seems strange since I've always loved reading. Some might call it an obsession with books. I can't think of a time when I didn't have a library card; in fact, I've often had a library card before a new driver's license when we've moved. Reading is my favorite hobby.

I devoured young adult romance novels when I was in high school. Then I found Harlequin category romances at a flea market one summer. I was hooked. Sure, the books were a decade old, but it didn't matter. The drama, the strong heroes, the morally upright heroines, and the overseas locales lured me in. I couldn't get enough!

It wasn't until I was in college, and still living with my parents, that I had the epiphany: I could write too. I assume most writers have that moment at some point. I'm ashamed to admit I had another thought: I could write books better than this. The book in my hand irritated me on every level. Was it poorly written? No. It just didn't satisfy me for whatever reason.

Text Fist
Photo by a_mason

I grabbed a spiral notebook and felt the first thrill of my writing career. I was in charge of the characters. I got to name them, decide where they lived, pick their hair color--I was in control! Heady stuff! And my romances wouldn't have all of those pesky problems. No, my books would show the hero and heroine falling in love and that would be it. did the book turn out, you might ask? It ended at page twenty. Turns out all of those pesky problems are the whole point of a book.

Many years have passed since that February day when I learned such a valuable lesson. If characters have no obstacles, readers have no reason to turn the page. My ardor for writing wasn't dampened by the realization; if anything, I became more determined to write.

What about you? When did the lightbulb turn on for you? When did you decide that you could do it too?

Join me on Wednesday when we'll be discussing how we evolve as writers.


Get Motivated! It's Monday!


  1. I love this! I have to say I found a short story I hand-wrote when I was about 12. 100 pages by hand! It was of course, a little romance story - but I am so glad my mom kept it. I wrote all the time as a young teenager and even a little in college. But, started writing again when about six years ago. The bug must have bit again:)

  2. That bug just keeps nipping, doesn't it? I'm so glad you're back at writing--and that you're sharing your journey with us.

    Happy Writing Amber!


I love to hear from you!