I’ve loved creative writing since I was a kid. I have a clear memory of the first story that I wrote for myself – an emo piece of fic about a girl surviving a car crash, written in the back of an old exercise book. I don’t think I ever let anyone else read it, but I was so proud of myself that I kept the book for many years afterwards. I must’ve been about 10 or 11 at the time. At age 12, I entered a school poetry competition and won third place. Now, I know that poem wasn’t good, but it had been written in 30 minutes as part of an accelerate English program so I still felt pretty damn proud.
Certainly, I was an early and voracious reader, and a storyteller from a young age. Sometimes those stories were only told to myself, daydreams that evolved with devoted characters and detailed settings. Sometimes those stories were, well, lies… told to others. I once convinced several schoolmates that I had a multiple personality disorder after reading a Mary Higgins Clark book – I was age nine.
As to why storytelling is so important to me – these quotes hold hints:
“I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” – Sylvia Plath
“I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.” – Anaïs Nin
“The world is not enough.” – Diana Wynne Jones
Unfortunately I didn’t have much support for my writing while I was growing up, even though both my parents are avid readers. But as an adult, I was able to bond with an aunt who also enjoys creative writing, and her support & interest has sustained me!
Not that I was held back by lack of support, however. I still minored in English at university, and used my free time to write a variety of works – blog posts, diaries, essays, poems, fanfic, and the odd original piece of fiction. A few years ago I attended a creative writing class and it revived my interest in storytelling.
These days, writing is therapy for me. I write to understand myself, and to create the person I want to be. I might not be the talented writer that I’d like to be, but I’m competent and enthusiastic, and I think that makes up for a lot. So I’m happy to sit at my iMac and tap out words on my rainbow keyboard, or sit in the library and scribble stories in an exercise book, or use plotting apps on my iPhone to dabble in story-building.
And I’m finally brave enough to start a local writing group, with hopes of finding like-minded folks to be inspired by, commiserate with, learn from and laugh with. Wish me luck!
If you’d like to see some examples of my writing, check out my writing tag.