I first remember writing in Elementary School around, 3rd or 4th grade I suppose. I remember the teacher giving us a creative writing assignment such as “finish this sentence and write a paragraph about whatever else comes to mind”. I recall getting a good grade on that first assignment and really enjoying the opportunity to be creative. I don’t think we did those assignments very often, but when we did I loved it.
My next memory is from around that same time and involves playing “newspaper” with one of my best friends. We would take my Mom’s typewriter and create our own little newspaper, usually consisting of any story that showed us in a good light. We also had our share of stories involving the girls in our class and boogers. I have no idea where we got the idea to make a newspaper, because producing a newspaper isn’t exactly the most lucrative profession for an eight year old to dream about, what with firefighter and G.I. Joe out there. I might have come from Muppet Babies, now that I think about it.
My next memory is of fifth grade, where we were supposed to write a story and read it to the class. Most people wrote a one page story of 100 or so words. Of course, I already had a “work in progress” starring my friends and I so I used that. It was at least ten pages long and had no real plot structure or really any point at all. I am sure I bored my classmates to tears though I think I got a B or an A based on effort.
I don’t remember much writing in High School, though I’m sure we did a little. I guess I was too busy playing basketball, baseball, or hockey, or being a teenager.
My freshman year of college I had a creative writing course, one that everyone had to take. I wish this came senior year because I think I would have gotten a lot more out of it. I remember writing a lot of first person stories based almost solely on personal experiences. I still didn’t get it, yet.
Fast forward to a couple years ago. My local newspaper was having a contest where they started a short story and the readers were to submit their take on the next 500 or so words. I remembered back to when I was in Elementary School and how much fun this was and decided to give it a try, not really expecting to win. To my surprise my entry was picked that week and a few more times since. I have been a “struggling writer” since.
I think the main reason I write is because I enjoy reading so much and want to create something that other people will enjoy as well. There are few things in the world as good as hearing that something I wrote made someone else smile on an otherwise bad day, or made someone think about something in a way they hadn’t thought before.
Another part of it is probably to leave a little legacy for when I’m gone. I guess I have a small desire to leave my mark on this world in a positive way, and hopefully I can do that through my writing. Besides, what other hobby is there that you can do for the cost of pen (or pencil) and paper, but has the potential to touch so many people?
I tag whoever else would like to participate. Leave you web site in the comments and I will create a post pointing to everyone’s efforts.