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Author Zone - Readers Welcome! > What made you start writing?

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message 1: by S. (new)

S. Nileson | 16 comments Hey all,
I'm just curious to know what made you start writing and what makes you continue doing so. For me it's the self-reflection and the active creative thinking.


message 2: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Ayris (stuayris) | 2666 comments I started writing because I didn't know what else to do (early nineties unemployment during the Thatcher years.)

I continue to write because to do so makes me smile!


message 3: by S. (new)

S. Nileson | 16 comments Stuart wrote: "I started writing because I didn't know what else to do (early nineties unemployment during the Thatcher years.)

I continue to write because to do so makes me smile!"


I have a hunch that many writers started the same way, hope to test it with this thread.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21830 comments I started with freelance journalism because I had a family and a dairy herd to support.

I started on novels because I wanted to write something fun :-)

So I suppose I've with Stuart on this one


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2997 comments I was sending daft emails to colleagues when I was bored in work.

Some of them said I should write a book...

I broke the duck by putting those emails together into a kind of book-pamphlet thing and boshed it up on Smashwords. I then decided to write a short story, just to see if I could, and found myself surprised at how easy it was compared to how I imagined it to be.

I decided to call that short story Shelter from Thunder and things just progressed from there.

I keep doing it because I enjoy it. It's a hobby.


message 6: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments My friends put me up to it!


message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve Robinson (steverobinson) | 2930 comments I used to write adventure game software when I was in my teens. I sent something in to 'Micro Adventurer' Magazine, intended for their cover disk. Instead of putting it on their cover disk, they asked if I would write an article about how I coded it, focussing on the use of arrays as a means to store objects and location descriptions in the game. I eagerly agreed and had a whopping five page article published. And I got paid for it! I was 16 then, and I thought how good it would be to earn a living as a writer. I've been trying on and off ever since.


message 8: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments I started writing as soon as my parents/teachers taught me to do it, and I've been writing ever since.

Steve, that's fascinating. I remember magazines where you had to type out the code.


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2997 comments Ha! I remember typing out huge long listings on my Commodore 64 to get infinite lives and stuff.

The dreaded "Data error on line 50" message usually made me cry.


message 10: by Steve (new)

Steve Robinson (steverobinson) | 2930 comments Rosen wrote: "I started writing as soon as my parents/teachers taught me to do it, and I've been writing ever since.

Steve, that's fascinating. I remember magazines where you had to type out the code."


Yes, it was one of those. I recall now that I wrote a Jack and the Beanstalk game for the article to illustrate the coding. I've still got a copy of the magazine in the attic somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and maybe put it on my blog, although I'm sure I'd cringe at it if I read it now.

Mentioning teachers has just reminded me of an earlier indication that I wanted to be an author. It was for English class, where we all had to write one of those topic-based essays. I can't recall the topic, but there was this scene I wrote that tackled love between two people who had just met - pretty big theme for a ten year old! Anyway the teacher chose it to read to the class and when she got to the love bit everyone burst out laughing. I was highly embarrassed, but what did they know? Immature lot! :o)


message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Robinson (steverobinson) | 2930 comments Michael Cargill wrote: "Ha! I remember typing out huge long listings on my Commodore 64 to get infinite lives and stuff.

The dreaded "Data error on line 50" message usually made me cry."


Lol, that takes me back. Thank you! :o)


message 12: by S. (new)

S. Nileson | 16 comments Kath wrote: "My friends put me up to it!"

Those are friends worth keeping


message 13: by S. (new)

S. Nileson | 16 comments Steve wrote: "I used to write adventure game software when I was in my teens. I sent something in to 'Micro Adventurer' Magazine, intended for their cover disk. Instead of putting it on their cover disk, they as..."

Independent or traditionally published?


message 14: by Steve (last edited Aug 20, 2015 02:35AM) (new)

Steve Robinson (steverobinson) | 2930 comments S. wrote: "Steve wrote: "I used to write adventure game software when I was in my teens. I sent something in to 'Micro Adventurer' Magazine, intended for their cover disk. Instead of putting it on their cover..."

Books or software? Never quite got there with the software, although I had a good nibble from a software publisher for an adventure game based on The Chronicles of Narnia. The publisher couldn't get the required permissions though so it all fell through. Books wise, I started out Indie and was picked up by Amazon Publishing. Now with their Thomas and Mercer imprint.


message 15: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments The first time I remember writing anything outside of school, I was about six. I started writing Doctor Who stories at the age of eight, and began working on original fiction at 21, while studying in France (I had a lot of spare time).

At 23, I discovered Epinions, Ciao, Dooyoo, Themestream, etc, and began writing reviews for pennies. I made thousands over the years which was a pretty useful little income stream, but I do now sort of resent the extent to which it took me away from fiction writing.

So one way or another, I've just been writing as long as I can remember, really.


message 16: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments I used to write little stories when I was a kid. At college I tried to write a novel; it was rubbish. In the late 80s & early 90s I wrote articles for trade magazines and was an editor for about 4 years. Also written a bunch of product manuals & user documentation over the years.

The first of my current novels was basically written for a dare. Some friends and I had been to the cinema, and in the pub afterwards I said something fatuous like "I could have written a better story than that." One of the others said "Go on then," and that was that.


message 17: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments The voices in my head made me do it.

Like Tim and Andrew, I've been writing since I can remember being able to do it. My english teacher at primary school was both delighted and despairing at the same time because she had to read it all.

I tried writing a novel when I read something (can't remember what), was unimpressed and decided I could do better than that myself.

The voice in my head said 'then why don't you?'

So I did.

It was only when the kindle came out that I found a way to put them in front of people that I had the time for.

I continue because if I didn't write my head would implode. Also, some people seem to quite like what I do.


message 18: by Stanley (last edited Sep 05, 2015 09:42PM) (new)

Stanley Thornton (standman) | 5 comments well, I started out writing poetry at the age of 12...but, a few years ago, when it was fashionable, I hung out in chat rooms. Being an empathy and a sensitive, I was naturally drawn to psychic chat rooms...we used to get what we called holier-than-thous who would come in and insist we were all going to hell because we were psychics. Having a good knowledge of the bible, I would attack them with questions about the bible to which I knew there were no answers...soon, they would get frustrated and leave. soon it became my job to run them off...well, one day, a Catholic friend of mine asked "Why don't you write a book?" Having no answer I wrote a book. It took me a year and a half to write and was released in Nov 2010. At the end of 2013, that same Catholic friend suggested I send my book to the Pope. When I finished laughing, I realized she was serious. Since it was only $16 shipping, I did so. A month later I received a letter from the Pope. around the same time, I began writing what I call my 'dragon poems'. One in specific became the inspiration for a fantasy series about dragons. It was originally a stand-alone, but soon people started asking "When is the next one coming out?" to which I answered "What next one?"...I am now working on book 4....and that's how I became an author....


message 19: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Kent | 4090 comments Louise wrote a short story which got rave reviews, then decided to expand it to a novel! She wanted me to help with the psychopaths by developing them in a second storyline, which i did and we discovered we really enjoyed both writing parts of the same books and went on from there!! Fun.


message 20: by D.D. Chant (last edited Sep 10, 2015 06:39AM) (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments I've always scribbled, but when I was in my mid teens my aunt told me I should try to write a book. I'd never considered taking on such a huge task, didn't really think I could do it, but her belief in me gave me the impetuous to try.

I've not looked back since!!!


message 21: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3116 comments They forced me! I had no choice! They had a gun to my head, for heaven's sake!! They peppered me with exclamation marks!!!!!


message 22: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments It's what you do when the book you are reading ends.


message 23: by S. (new)

S. Nileson | 16 comments Will wrote: "It's what you do when the book you are reading ends."

Only for those that make me think creatively.


message 24: by Terence (new)

Terence Park | 17 comments I started writing while converting a bunch of Vinyl LPs to digital. While the LPs played - a slow, real-time process - I had spare time on my hands, so I decided to trial Novel Writing Software.


message 25: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth White | 2067 comments I always liked writing essays and had my first story published in the school magazine when I was thirteen.

Then I did O and A level English and thought my writing imagination had been deadened forever by all the analysis that was part of the curriculum.

At heart, though, I still had an ambition to write the kind of book I have enjoyed all my life - and began writing again ten years ago, inspired by the news that a place I had once lived in and loved had been demolished. It was my way of bringing it to life again and filling it with the magic and adventure that it deserved.


message 26: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Kent | 4090 comments First thing i wrote, when I was eight or nine I think, was for the PTA magazine, a story about my hamster!


message 27: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Berry (lindybee) | 19 comments There was never a start. It's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I wanted to write for my living until I realised that there would be restrictions on my freedom of expression so I gave that up and got a proper job (as my parents said). But, as the saying goes, you can't take the writer out of the true addict.


message 28: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 2883 comments Wrote my first story around the age of four, and carried on ever since. From about 10 when a teacher (probably joking) said "You should get these published" formed the plan of being a published writer. By the time I left school, I knew it was almost impossible to earn a living at it, so turned to a 'proper job' as L.A. said, with the writing squeezed into spare time.


message 29: by Terence (new)

Terence Park | 17 comments Charlie wrote: "All the jumps and static crackles..."

What a slog that was. I used Magic Audio Cleaner which had some handy tools. The problem was speakers and sound card. The card I had was crap and my speakers weren't good enough to pick out crackle. I upgraded and in then end invested in decent headphones (only £50 each). Still a slog though. Many LPs were in bad condition - some must have been on the ironing board or something, they were that bad! I did about 500 - classical, pop, theatre, a recoding of Churchill's funeral. Still haven't cleaned up all of the wave files. By definition that means they aren't yet MP3s.... I had to finish my novel... and check it, restructure it, edit it, rewrite it etc, etc. When I run out of ideas I'll go back and finish them up.


message 30: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 148 comments When I was twelve in 1964, I was listening to a song in my head that I had not heard on the radio. Slowly, I realised that the words and tune were mine, so I picked up a scrap of paper from the floor and wrote the verses of what was my first song with an almost blunt pencil. It seemed odd to be writing something that was not for school. After the first song, I wrote more. One day I wrote lines that did not rhyme, so I decided it was a poem. Writing songs and poems led to stories. One of the things I like about writing is that it adds an extra dimension to life. To not read and write must be odd, I have often thought. All those notebooks full of prose and verses led to my three books, two novels and one book of poems and ballads. Whatever else happens, I find comfort in the knowledge that I will continue to enjoy reading and writing.


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