When Did You Begin to Write?

When did you first begin to write, and who or what inspired you? What age were you? What did you write? What were your greatest obstacles? Tell us your story in the comments.

Aaand go!

writersnotebooks-dreamstime_xs_44645774

To get the ball rolling, here’s my story

iamwhoiam-dreamstime_xs_44091388I’m often asked what got me writing or what book or author inspired me. Such questions are irrelevant because I think I was born a writer. It has always been intrinsic. Characterization and scene construction go back to my earliest memories.

“Story-in-my-head” memories go back to ages three and four, possibly two. I was making up characters, using inanimate objects to portray characters, and giving toys feelings as if they were human.

In grade one and two, I learned to spell and write, the best tools a young writer could hope for.

At the end of grade two, I came home with four booklets with many unused pages left inside that we never filled up in class. They were early elementary exercise notebooks with half a page blank and half a page lined–perfect for drawing pictures and writing stories.

I’ll never forget those booklets, my prized possessions that year. In school, we had covered them in construction paper (red, blue, yellow, and green, I believe), so they were colour coded by school subject but also looked nice. I simply tore out the school work and–voilà!–they made perfect young writer notebooks.

I never had invisible friends but always had characters in my head whose lives were separate from my own. I took mental notes about life and the people around me, and along with my own discoveries, applied the experiences to my characters’ world.

At age 11 and 12, I drew all my characters with coloured pencils. I wasn’t a talented artist, but by age 17, I could draw some reasonably good 6B pencil portraits with shading.

payattentiontoyourdreams-dreamstime_xs_43834774I decided to write a novel in summer 1975, when I was 11. (That dream would not be realized for another 36 years.) That summer was a turning point in my writing career. Henceforth I became a serious, committed writer who wrote everything down.

In summer ’75, I had a thick, full-size, 8.5 by 11 inch notebook, which I covered in tinfoil for lack of construction paper–because who wants to write an novel in something entitled “Exercise Book”? I taught myself how to punctuate and paragraph dialogue. I wanted my novel to look like a real book.

Some of my book ideas came from dreams, especially images, which served as picture prompts.

Throughout junior high, high school, and university, I jotted down observations, vocabulary, and real snippets of conversations on little pieces of paper, often torn from the corners of my school notes, and sometimes written on napkins in cafeterias. I had a box at home to store these little treasures of inspiration and knowledge. (No smart phones, tablets, or computers for note taking and storage in those days.)

I started many novels in my teens, but could never finish them because I was changing too fast, which kept altering my story plots and writing style.

Without Internet, my research in those days was limited to personal experience, listening to people, “interviewing” people about their experiences, eavesdropping on conversations, and what I could glean from books and movies, which inspired me but never hit the mark for the specific information I needed.

believeinyourself-dreamstime_xs_43871056My greatest obstacle as a young writer, other than lack of experience and lack of Internet, was lack of access to anything that would help me to write better–to write like an author. Teachers refused to comment on my personal work (probably a good thing, since English teachers are not industry editors and “correct” differently, but a little feedback would have been better than none), no courses were available to me, and certainly no living authors could be accessed.

Those were not the days of writers-in-residence or bookstore author signings. What I would have done to talk to a living author!

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning difficulties and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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5 Responses to When Did You Begin to Write?

  1. JJAzar says:

    Very much like you, I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’ve always cherished the what was left of my composition books at school-year’s end. I find it interesting that you couldn’t finish things in your teens because your writing and outlook was constantly changing. I went through the same thing. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s amazing, I too have notebooks abound from decades of starting a story but never finishing! At least we have a wealth of other stories to fall back on.

    I always had stories in my head. Some I would act out with friends, others I’d write down in some form or other. I remember my first story I wrote for a class was my freshman year in high school. My teacher called in my parents to discuss my “talents” and how to encourage me, but I was more interested in art than English Lit and rules about how to write. Still, I wrote occasionally when an idea struck and continued to do so over the years. I’ve tried many times to strike out as a full-time writer only to burn out instead. I see now that I wasn’t ready. Turns out, I wasn’t prepared to write well. Hmm, maybe I should’ve listened?

    A couple years back I learned that a local, urban legend I helped to grow back in the late 1980’s was still being told. It inspired me to revisit my notes I had on it and thus, my debut novel had begun. It’s still taken me a while but I’ve learned so much in the past two years. In any case, it’s a project I believe in and so long as that comes through on my completion, I’ll be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your interesting backstory, Jason!

      You are fortunate that your teacher called in your parents to discuss your “talents” — by the way, this is almost verbatim out of a flashback from Beyond the Precipice when Bret’s teacher calls his parents in to discuss his music and acting talents (except he was quite a bit younger).

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m back. Writing snippets on breaks at work. The other thing I wanted to add was that I am very happy you are following up with your writing. Please keep me posted!

      Liked by 1 person

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