When did you know? I want to write. I want to be a writer. What was the day? Was it something specific?
Something Damon said in one of the other threads made me think about this, about my own epiphanies about writing, about the desire to do this wondrous strange thing. For me, once I started reading I think I started wanting to write. Back in grade school I started writing fantasy stories. Novels, really. I'd write chapter one, and maybe two, and then the grand story would taper off after twenty or thirty pages. But the desire never left.
By grade seven and eight I was able to hold through a little better, and tried to find ways to make all my school projects into stories. Deadlines helped little Ink finish his word contraptions. A fantasy story about the false satisfaction of revenge, a dinosaur tale, a vampire vs. werewolf story in childhood suburbia... Writing stories was becoming a part of me, though much of this was still unconscious and unacknowledged. Subsumed beneath the surface, perhaps, but the hidden desires were there. Story...
By the end of high school I think I knew in a more serious way. No OAC (fifth year) math or sciences. But lots of English courses. And I wrote some things that people seemed to like, that made them look at me a little differently. I decided what my major was going to be at University: Creative Writing. This is what I wanted, to write stories. Unpractical, yes, but what the hell? Hey, I had hair down my back and wore loose jeans and unbuttoned plaid shirts. Grunge, man. I certainly wasn't thinking about becoming an accountant (or the owner of a bookstore, for that matter).
University only confirmed the desire. And, what's more, I started to get a lot better. In fourth year I remember a sort of vague epiphany as things came together: "Oh, this is how you do it..." Grad school was a chance to take that feeling, that sudden understanding, and put it to good use. It was time to write and see if I could really do it in a serious, prolonged way. Not just meeting a deadline, an assignment here or there. But to write seriously, daily. To write a novel and see if I could actually do what I always wanted to do.
Learning that I could do this made me think that, yes, I could be a writer. Yes, I would be a writer. I would do it or die trying.
And here I am, still trying, still not dead. So what about you? How'd the writing bug hit you? Early? Late? When did you know?