1. Moima
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    Moima Member

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    When did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Moima, Jun 6, 2014.

    Was it with the first book? First article? First blog post? First letter?

    And do you consider writing to be your job? Can one actually earn enough money by writing without having to find another job?
     
  2. pirate1802
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    pirate1802 Member

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    It started with a discussion between me and my brother. We were spitballing ideas, then he went You should totally write that! So I started writing, and to my utter surprise, It didn't completely suck, so I kept writing. That's how it began.

    As far as witing full-time, I'd go with Asimov's advise: Unless you are a consistently bestselling writer you should always keep a job, and sometimes, in spite of that.
     
  3. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    When I realized that I would never be able to stop having ideas and feeling like I needed to get them down or on writing. I was about twelve or something at the time and I realized that I would never be able to stop and I loved it. However some days (when I'm less optimistic) I still don't think of myself as a writer but other days I do because I feel like I'm not happy unless I'm writing. I've never had anything published or anything substantial (except for rather bad poetry and class assignments) finished let alone to a point where I'm happy with it but needing to write things is enough for me to consider myself a writer.
     
  4. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't like labels that are attributed due to hobbies or preferences. I don't want to be called a vegetarian just because I don't eat meat. I don't want to be called a writer just because I write. The only one I'm comfortable with is 'baker,' because that's what I do to pay the bills. I'm not saying that it is wrong for anybody to call themselves writers; I'm just talking about what I am comfortable with personally.

    Writers that work every day on articles and self marketing could very well make a living. The guy who writes a lot of the stuff for Cracked.com comes to mind. I've always considered selling yourself to be a very tough way to make dough, though.

    As for when I decided to attempt the craft: a few years ago I was searching for a medium to tell my stories that just had to be told. As it happens, writing is the most cost-effective, and very therapeutic.

    And yourself? When did you adopt the keyboard?
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    All started with my learning support teacher. I'm Chinese and when I moved to England, couldn't really speak English much at all. 'Course I knew the whole "I read a book" and "It is a red apple" and "I want some chips" and stuff like that, but reading and writing? No way. I was doing that in Chinese at the time but mostly I was actually focused on drawing back then.

    Then my teacher introduced me to the world of poetry, to rhymes. She realised I'd never heard of Humpty Dumpty, didn't know what a rhyme was. She realised I didn't know what fairy cakes were and had never seen a Christmas cracker. (for the non-Brits, that's a party thing you pull open with your friend, makes a loud noise and out pops a traditionally bad joke, a party hat, and a little toy) She pushed me into a group of boys writing stories and took me out of school assemblies so I could bake little fairy cakes with her in the staff kitchen. She took me to the library and had me pick book after book to read (of course, in order to teach me English). And I started rewriting the stories I read - I don't mean making up my own just yet - I was literally just writing the story out exactly as I'd read it, only in my own words. No one told me to do it. I just enjoyed the story and wanted to tell it too. I still have one of my old notebooks from those times - I kept writing "And then I god a book, and I like it and my sister god a dress and we are happy and..." :D It was a page-long sentence all joined together with "and" hahaha. (and yes, I really wrote "god" because back then, the difference in sound between a D and a T was non-existent for me - I'd heard the word "got" in England, realised what it meant, but I'd never seen it written down I think)

    Anyway, one day I came home and I told mum how I don't want to write because I know my grammar would be all wrong. Mum told me who cares, 'cause it's just for fun anyway. Thus, if I'm having fun, then write. And I started writing in English from then on - I'm not sure why the idea of writing in Chinese never occurred to me. I could've done it. But nope, English it was, and English it still is. I can't write in Chinese now even if I wanted to, which is a shame :(

    Anyway, been writing ever since. I was 9 back then. And from the point when I started I knew I wanted to be published one day. I'd take out books from the school library on how to improve my writing, and when I read books I'd memorise lines I loved and try to use them in my own stories.

    However, I still never considered myself a writer. The reason? 'Cause I just wrote and wrote but I never edited, never planned, never cared if it's a good story for anyone else other than myself. I had no need to edit, it was just too much work.

    Then I was 19 and my first novel idea was conceived, thanks to Baldur's Gate 2 lol. Then when I was 21 or 22 I picked up the story again and I'm still working on that novel now. It was when I finally started to write this novel in earnest, after I moved to Prague - when I started editing and really measuring my work according to whether it's publishable, and striving to make it so - that's when gradually, I finally realised, I'm a writer.

    It's just become who I am. It crept up on me, and I always want to be known as a writer. I am many other things too, but writer will always be one of the many things that I am, and a title I hold dear. By writing in earnest I feel that I have earned it - for all the hard work and despair and tears I've poured into my novel, this is my personal reward, even if nothing ever comes of my work.
     
  6. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    First time I completed a story I started.
     
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  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first time I wrote a story that I didn't have to (wasn't homework). But no, writing isn't my job - even when (the eternal optimist) I start selling, I would never consider it my job. What pays the bills, hopefully. But a job is something you'd quit in a moment if you found something better.

    Yes, there are writers who make their living this way - journalists, for one group. Fiction - yes, some can and do. A lot depends on what you need to survive financially, of course. What some people consider a small advance I could live on for a year, so...
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    at the age of about 41, after i made a conscious decision to see if i could be one and started a novel... seeing how well and easily i could do it, i realized i was a writer and have been one ever since...

    no... but it's my profession... and apparently, my 'vocation'...

    need you ask?... what do you think bestselling authors, salaried journalists, technical writers and such do? ;)

    that said, very few do, compared to the jillions who'd like to...
     
  9. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    When I finished my first few short stories and realized that I was getting in the ballpark about telling a story that people wanted to keep reading.

    I've never published; I write as a hobby. Perhaps one day ...
     
  10. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been writing little stories forever, mostly based on or inspired by the video games I played. None of them ever went farther than a few pages, but it was always fun to do. Then in high school I had this one really good English teacher who actually got the students interested in literature (or, at least, as close as a bunch of high school seniors could get). We studied Dubliners and analyzed it to death, but it actually got me interested in thinking about stories in the real world instead of video-game-based fantasy stuff that never went anywhere.

    Not long before that I had started getting into the band Rush, and I was exploring their discography pretty heavily during that time. When I got to the Power Windows album I found the song "Middletown Dreams," which combined with the stories from Dubliners gave me a good deal of inspiration for a real-world story about various people in a middle-class neighborhood, stuck in the prison of everyday life and trying to find ways to keep their dreams alive. It was the first full story I wrote and finished and really liked (wound up being about 40k, even).

    It was after finishing that work (which I still don't think is that bad, despite all its technical flaws) that I thought, "Hey, I could probably do this writing thing."

    As with my music, I never had nor presently have any intention of making a career out of it. I'd like to try and get published at some point, but it would really just be to say that I did more than anything. I certainly have no expectation of making any real money from it. That's what IT consulting is for.
     
  11. Moima
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    I don't know! I used to write a lot when I was younger, my school essays were always top-notch. I used to write short stories and I loved it. I even considered studying journalism at one point - until my teacher told me that I wasn't good enough :) I stopped writing and did other things. Eventually I went to university and worked on yet more essays and reports, this time in English (as opposed to Czech, my native language). Since then I submitted few psychology-related articles to different websites and one article to a university newsletter.

    Do I consider myself a writer? Not really. And I don't know when (and if) I will ever think of myself as a writer. It's something I would love to do, but maybe I just love playing with words, I don't know! Most of my best writing happens in my head, as soon as I sit down at a table, puff! It dissapears. I'm a perfectionist, if something doesn't sound just right, I won't move on.

    I would love to dedicate myself to writing, do it for real. But deep down I can't forget my teacher's words: Don't even bother trying, there is nothing special about your writing. It was during my formative years, when I was trying to figure out who I am and what I am good at.

    A teacher can make you - and break you. I've been trying to fix myself ever since.
     
  12. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I was thirteen, sneaking out of my room and into my uncle's office, making a big pot of black coffee and writing my first novel. It was pretty dreadful, thinking of it now, but I loved it and felt like a writer.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    In November, 2011, with the NaNoWriMo challenge when I wrote 134000 word draft of the duology I'm working on. Then I went to a critique group and began to learn how to write.
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm not sure I do actually. Sure, I write, but 1) I don't make any money from it and 2) I'm not as good as I want to be (the term "writer," for me, implies some sort of mastery). It's the same reason I don't call myself a singer even though I like to sing in the shower. Of course, this is just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  15. GingerCoffee
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    I can understand this. For me, I've come to believe what I'm writing is publishable quality. I may find out differently once the first book is finished. But for now, I'm confident calling myself a writer.
     
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  16. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I considered myself a writer sicen I was 6-7 when I started to write extensively. I always loved telling stories, reading stories, seeing stories, so it's just a natural medium for me to go in as on a piece of paper I have unlimited budget and whatever I want goes. I'm a story teller, I guess.
     
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  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Soon as I started writing. I was about 20 when I started writing seriously, but I wrote fiction for fun for years before that.
     
  18. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    From an early age, probably 9 when I entered the Humanities magnet, friends, family, teachers, etc. always referred to me as a writer...it was just something I did naturally well in school and continued for fun at home. I've always thought of it as a compliment but not an actual title I'd use myself. When someone asks what I do I would never say, "I'm a writer." I write but the label of a writer is something I hold kind of on a pedestal, an implication of success I've yet to achieve (a certain word count, larger portfolio, publication, whatever), so I'd feel like a fraud if I called myself one outside of a hobbyist circle such as this. :unsure:
     
  19. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know if there was a singular moment when I realized that I was a writer. When I was really little, I know I wanted to be an author when I grew up and through all the phases I went through in high school and college, writing was always there. Looking back, I wish I had realized that much earlier since I've seemed to jump around from one career path to the next without much direction.

    Writing is something that's always been there for me, so in a sense, I've been a writer my whole life. Now, have I gotten anything published? No. But that's a whole different animal...
     
  20. sylvertech
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    sylvertech Active Member

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    I used to make up stories for my sister because we didn't have a TV (or a computer) and half the time the electricity was gone.

    Anyway, when I became seven years old, a teacher became interested in some of my stories and compiled them into a wonderful small booklet. It wasn't in English, since it is not my native language and I hadn't been expressive in it yet.

    A few years later, I often had a journal, and sometimes wrote poetry to vent as well.

    When I became 15 I became obsessive about my journal and wrote down ALL of my thoughts. I have all my journal entries detailing everything in the last three years in school (meals, movies watched, conversations had, your name it). After that I used a personal wiki.

    Anyway, those events still didn't make me think of myself as a writer, but rather a storyteller and deep thinker, respectively.

    It was in the first year of my intense Journaling that I stumbled across Lovecraft.
    When I read Lovecraft, I was not able to stop myself from converting my inspiration onto paper.
    Lovecraft has this style that made me appreciate language on a new level.
    I thought of a simple horror story at first, and when it was done I thought of a fantasy series, and that kept expanding till it became an enormous universe that encompasses half of my stories.

    Also, perhaps it was not lovercraft in isolation that inspired me. I had a limerance at the time and she had already decided she wanted to be a writer, and so my first story was dedicated to her (in retrospect, perhaps horror was the bad genre to offer as a gift).

    Yet even now I am going through a computer science degree in university and would not dare become a full-time writer. But on the inside, I am a writer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
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  21. WeWill77
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    WeWill77 Member

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    I was about 7. I was inspired by writing and how it could impact people's lives-- sometimes dramatically. I've always wanted to do that for people.

    Writing isn't the only thing I want to do, though. I strive to be a polymath. But that's just a label. I want to understand the universe and connect with the people in it. Sort of the confluence of art and science. And writing is the medium to share it all. Also, words are fun.
     
  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've always loved writing. I used to write little booklets when I was in second grade, about the adventures of me and my friends exploring the planets. When I got into reading science fiction seriously, at the age of eight or nine, I shamelessly started writing ripoffs of Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. These were, of course, terrible, and I'm glad I don't have them any more.

    I've always had a bone in my head that makes me want to do whatever it is I enjoy seeing others doing. I can't listen to music without picking up my guitar and playing along. I can't read a novel without wanting to write one of my own. I'm just bent that way and always have been.

    I submitted my first short story to Analog Science Fiction magazine when I was fourteen years old. It was promptly rejected (of course), and I didn't submit anything else anywhere until only about a year and a half ago. I still haven't been published anything, but I'm getting closer. My most recent submission to Analog got rejected, but the editor did say, "I like your style. Please try me again." That was very encouraging! :)

    Now I just have to write something for him... :write:
     
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  23. WeWill77
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    WeWill77 Member

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    I would consider that a rejection letter a huge success :D Anything that's encouraging and isn't a form letter means you're going to get published eventually.
     
  24. HealSomeBabies
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    HealSomeBabies Member

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    When I saw some of the crap that was being published, I felt a sense of duty and took up the keyboard.

    I don't consider myself a writer, I am "someone who writes." The title must be earned.
     
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  25. Relegan
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    Relegan New Member

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    Oh my God, this is so hard to answer to this question! First, because I'm not a writer and second, because I'll never be. Indeed, even if one day I'm published I think I couldn't never say : "I'm a writer". Like HealSomeBabies I'll be and I am "someone who writes" but never ever a writer. It's a too prestigious title for me. But I think I can say when I knew I wanted to do writing my passion. It began when I was in the last college school grade (sorry I don't know the equivalents in UK or other) so it's one year ago. My French teacher was saying I wrote poems good and I was good to create imaginative stories. In general she was saying I'd got a nice plum. And because I loved writing, I asked to go in high school and then I am. It's a real big luck for me and I know I really want to write books. And I have fallen in love with English language, culture and so on. So I just want to live, work and write books in UK. So this is how I started thinking I had to write.
     
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