“When did you know you wanted to be a writer?”
“I always knew I wanted to be a writer.”
This is a question and answer that I see a lot. It seems like a vast majority of writers “always knew” they wanted to write.
I didn’t always know. So, as someone who didn’t “just know” I thought I’d write a little about what made me start writing and about the little clues from my childhood that I never picked up on at the time.
When I was a kid, I played pretend. Most kids probably did. But I was always doing it. Even by myself. I had intricate stories in my head going for all my toys, I made up personas when I played, and so on.
What really got me story telling to myself was probably when I was about 13, and I discovered anime. I watched DBZ, Sailor Moon, and Tenchi Muyo all religiously. I also got really into RPGs, Star Ocean 2 was my first, followed by Final Fantasy VII.
It was right around this time that I started making up a story. I had all these scenes in my head for it, and I made up a cast of characters because I wanted it to be cool like one of the shows I watched or games I played, and I even borrowed little traits from them, like having a character with three eyes and whatnot. I would draw all of my characters in a notebook and write their names above them and act out scenes in my room and think of it this were a video game what the boss fights would be.
I thought it would be awesome if it could be a video game someday. Sadly, I’ve still never actually made a serious attempt at writing that story since realizing I like writing, only a couple of starts in the past. I’d still like to make a proper go of it someday.
So, I was really into the art side of all this stuff, and I pursued art through most of high school. By about 11th or 12th grade I realized being a plain artist probably wouldn’t get my anywhere, and moved toward graphic design/visual communications in an attempt to still do something art related but have a chance at a proper career.
One of the other things that happened in 10th grade was, I really enjoyed my English class. I got good grades on book reports and thought, yeah this is pretty nice, I like this. So in 11th grade I decided, why not take AP English.
That was a mistake for me. Picking apart books was so not my thing. I transferred out of AP English after the first semester.
For a long time, my failure with that discouraged me from any sort of path involving English Literature.
I went to college and got my visual communication degree. During college, I picked up a random book at the bookstore because the cover had a person holding out an apple on the cover, and I was big into Death Note at the time so I thought that was awesome. It was about vampires and I thought that was cool. I always liked vampires and loved the movie Interview with the Vampire.
Any guesses on the book yet? That’s right, it was Twilight.
So let’s talk just a little bit about Twilight. I don’t remember much about the writing itself, but I did read all of the books, and at the time I enjoyed them. But as I was reading them, I thought, “This doesn’t seem all that special. I could do this.”
And that’s when I decided. I should write my own stories.
I finished my associate’s in visual communications, which, sadly by the time I was finishing it I realized it too would have little use to me, and in most of my spare time I piddled around in pocket sized notebooks writing stories that I thought might never see the light of day.
For a long time, that’s how I felt. I got a full time job in an office, and worked and wrote here and there and started posting a couple things up online.
One of them got the attention of a girl who is now my best friend and writing buddy.
I’m not gonna lie, I spent a couple of years after meeting her writing with her all kinds of fun stuff that also might not see the light of day, and in that time I almost never worked on my own stuff. But I wouldn’t take back any of that.
Because of that experience, I created so many characters and worlds with my friend, and that’s how my story Masks was actually born.
So that’s the story of how I started writing.
As for why I write and will continue to? Well, I’ve got all these stories in my head, and I want to do something with them!