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How did you know you were a writer?

by | Feb 18, 2010 | Tips For Writers

It often happens at book signings and sometimes when I’m being introduced to someone new.

After introductions and a quick spiel on my novel, I’ll usually let people know I own a publishing company. Hey you never know where you’ll meet a best-selling author. And then it happens…the follow up question, “Do you publish other authors?”

I nod.

“Well let me tell you about my book…” the person continues.

I didn’t realize so many people had aspirations of writing until I embarked on this journey and I often wonder at what point do people realize they are writers. So while I tell you my story, think of your own.

I was four years old. My family was preparing me for kindergarten. Flash cards became a regular part of my learning and by the time I started my first day of kindergarten I was reading a few grade levels above my grade.

I loved reading and the early years is when I realized that I was creative. I had a vivid imagination. I gravitated towards the arts. Anything that allowed me to express myself I enjoyed.

Drawing. Music. Writing. I did it all.

I remember enjoying school but also being extremely bored. It seemed to be a color inside the lines approach to life and that definitely did not fit my personality. As a child that played out as disruptive, as an adult its considered creative. *shrugs*

I entered a few creative writing contests in grammar school and it sparked my interest in writing.

It planted a seed.

Around eighth grade I began songwriting. Although I haven’t picked up my pen to write a song in quite some time I still consider that to be one of my forays into this writing game.

But my first teenage relationship was also very significant in my realizing that writing was for me. Sounds crazy right? But let me explain.

Sometimes in face to face interaction, we are so busy talking that we aren’t listening. This usually leads to interrupting a person’s train of thought and not allowing them to fully get their point across. I don’t know what your experience is, but I regularly have people cut me off mid-thought or just completely misunderstand a point I’m trying to make. Of course, I don’t think its intentional because I’m guilty of this from time to time. If anyone’s mind has half the chatter that mine does, I truly understand it. But I realized that writing my thoughts down would force a person to listen, allow me to complete my thought and hopefully understand the point I was trying to convey.

So I began to write letters to my boyfriend at the time when I felt he wasn’t understanding me or if I needed to express to him how I felt without interruption.

Whether it helped or not is a whole other blog, but my point is I needed to express myself and nothing would scratch the itch but grabbing a sheet of lined paper and sharing  my thoughts with him.

Although subtle, it was another planted seed that made me realize that I was a writer.

In a future blog, I’ll discuss how despite all of that I went into finance. But that’s another blog for another day.

I’m interested in hearing your stories. How did you know you were a writer? Was there a pivotal moment in your life that made you realize that writing was your passion?

Stefanie Newell is a freelance writer based in Chicago and author of the novel The Buzz: When celebrity gossip goes wrong… She is also the CEO of Write One Publications, Inc.

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