This is a common question posed by friends, acquaintances, and relatives. It’s a difficult question to answer however because I can’t pinpoint the exact moment my love for writing started.
I know that writers always start as readers. I can confirm this as I became an avid reader at a young age. My mom read to my sister and I constantly and as a child I devoured all of the Babysitter’s Club books and Sweet Valley High. When I hit my pre-teens I started nicking my mother’s Danielle Steele novels. As I got older, I read articles in local newspapers as well as teen girl and women’s magazines like Teen, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. My mother went back to school when I was a teenager, and she would bring home the college’s magazines and those found a way into my hands as well. Perhaps reading a wide range of topics from different writers sparked the flame. I studied writing styles and adapted my style from writers I admired.
When I was ten, my elementary school celebrated Earth Day. One of our activities assigned by the teacher was to write a poem. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Sawa, told the class that a few students’ work would be chosen for the school newsletter. I wrote a poem using the letters from “peace” to write what I considered peace. A few days later, Mrs. Sawa told me my poem would be featured in the next newsletter. Writing was something I enjoyed but I didn’t feel confident in my abilities. Being recognized by the school helped build up me build up my confidence manifold.
It wasn’t until I turned 26 that I realized my love of writing could be turned into a career. I started freelancing for different companies and landed a full-time in-house position as a content writer for a travel website, after that I wrote for a state college’s international program, and now I am working as a copywriter for an electronics company. I, like many, writers write stories in my free time with dreams of one day getting off the hamster wheel to pursue novel writing full-time.
So going back to the question and the title of this entry, the simple answer is I became a writer because I enjoy reading. This is the single most important desire a writer needs to go from reading to writing.