Sunday, 18 January 2009

When did we start writing?

Now have the results from the poll. The question was:

'When did you realise you wanted to write?'
A. I always have, in some way. (40%)
B. Early on - pre-teens (20%)
C. Teens (20%)
D. 20s (20%)
E. 30s
F. 40s
G. Over 50
H. I want to write?

40% of people who answered said they have always wanted to write. That's a pretty interesting result I think. To know what you want to do from such an early age must be great. Of course some of them won't have know that was a career path, but they wanted to write. Well done to you people!

Then we have the more likely people who decided in their pre-teen years, teens or 20s. I'm one of the teen people (though only just).

It would be nice to know all through life what you want to do. However I have a theory...

If you decide at an early age (let's say 12) that you want to write as a career, then you'll get the standard 'you can't do that, it's unstable, get a proper job' talk. This will mostly come from the parents and I can see why. Who knows if this kid can write? Who knows if he can make money from it?

Parents are only looking out for you. But while they're doing that, they inevitably crush you. If a 12 year old says he wants to be a writer, he'll get the dream-crushing reality. He's not old enough to stand on his own and do what he wants despite what everyone else says. That age doesn't come (depending on the person) until about 18. So that's 6 long years for the parents to convince the kid that they're right - he won't survive as a writer. Any kid that survives that deserves a medal.

So I decided at the age of 10 that I wanted to be a writer. To be honest, I think my parents thought it would go away and I'd set my sights on a safer job. I was at uni studying English, so they needn't worry too much.

If they had been the type to crush me and say 'No, you can't do that' etc, then it wouldn't have mattered. I was old enough and independent enough to tell them where to go and carry on. Yes they were a little uncomfortable with my career choice and may like me to get a 'safer' job, but I know they'll support me whatever I do. And that's what matters.

So what I'm saying is; I think the best time to decide you want to be a writer, is about 18. Then no matter what anyone says, you'll probably keep going. Another option is to decide and not tell anyone till you're 18.

But an interesting result from the poll, thanks to those who answered. There's a new question up now at the right-hand side about writing books, so be sure to check it out.

Shiny writing,
Neil.

9 comments:

Jonny Quest said...

haha, what a small world. About a month ago I stumbled upon your blog whilst writing mine, I sent you a little message but you never replied.

Then two days ago we had a conversation about me getting involved with Micheal's Resignation. Well now we 'know' each other a little I will add your blog to y list of reads. Peace

Jonny Quest said...

and for the record I always knew I wanted to be a writer, well I didn't but looking back now I have always been a writer. I wrote my first story in Year 5 so I was 9 i think. It was a treasure island adventure with all sorts of weird plants - man eating venus fly traps and quicksand etc - My teacher Mrs. Feeman, disapproved as it was unrealistic that a man who'd had his arm bitten off in the early stages of the story would survive until the end. This is my earliest memory of writing, I then started to write my own scripts (usually just sequels to the latest film I'd seen at the cinema Batman Secrets being my favourite). At 17 my love for films kinda took over and tarantino became an inspiration (Not that I wanted to write another pulp fiction but he opened my eyes to the fact that anyone can write and direct a film sort of) so I took up a media production National Diploma at college and started to ake my own films, which I wrote too. I carried this dream on to uni where I wanted above everything to direct, at this stage I had been writing everything I directed for 3 years I carried on this way until I left uni. Whilst at uni I worked with allsorts of people some of which just generally took the media course as they saw it as an easy option. This kind of disillusioned me from the whole process of directing as it became a struggle to find the right people to work with and so I have decided to focus solely on my writing. One day I will direct but for now writing is my life.

Neil said...

A small world indeed. I didn't reply? Many apologies my friend. Shall add your blog to mine as well.

A great story about your first writing exp. We always remember the good times. And I think the armless guy could survive to the end, if he were played by someone like Bruce Willis!

Neil.

Jonny Quest said...

My argument precisely, it was an adventure story a missing arm is just a scratch!

It's alright mate you have already added my blog anyways. what's the first writing experience you remember?

Neil said...

Hmm....let's see.

I was kinda one of those kids who pretend-played swords and dragons at primary school rather than football - always been interested in action and stuff.

First writing was probably when the TV show Angel finished. I decided to write a prose fiction spin-off about it. Was shite, but kicked things off. Then at A-level, I had to write the start of a novel - was also shite.

About 9 months ago, I did a bit of scriptwriting in my English course and we looked at an exercise in the screenwriter's bible. I loved it, bought the book and the rest is very recent history.

Don't think I wrote before my teens. Came up with a few spiffy characters and such for my favourite books and shows. The classic acting out boy stuff. Was fun.

Michelle Goode said...

I used to ask permission to sit out of my class in lower school (must have been year 2) so I could concentrate on writing my own stories instead of doing the work the rest of the class had to. Permission was granted... I would produce stories about the character "Jenny". Maybe that counts?

I must have been about 7...

Michelle Goode said...

And I remember being delighted when I got a detention one time because it gave me free time to sit and write my stories... lol. Gosh I'd forgotten about all that...

Neil said...

Ass kicking way of getting into writing, Michelle. Wish I'd have gotten into writing earlier, woulda given ME somethign to do in those detentions.

Jonny Quest said...

Asking to write whilst the rest of the class worked on trivial key stage 1 knowledge, genius!! Wish I had thought of that trick.