Getting started as a writer
If you’re interested in getting started on some of your writing projects, one of the questions that you’ll probably find yourself asking is something along the lines of – “Do other writers have this problem?” or “What do other writers do?” or “How do writers write?”
Writing can be a fairly isolated endeavour, so it’s always fascinating to talk to other writers and discuss the process that they’re using, the challenges that they’re facing, and how they’ve figured out what works for them.
We’ve interviewed a number of writers in recent months. Here’s what some of them have told us about their approach to writing.
“When I was kid I had a pretty vivid imagination, but one which seemed to my parents at least to be more adult than expected. I consumed literature. Loving words, enjoying early English classes, and spending my free time with my head in an encyclopaedia. I was that kid who asked ‘why?’ all the time. My parents must have gone crazy with the amount of questions, and were more than happy when they gave me a book. So, writing came naturally as a result.”
“I was never one of those people who loved reading or writing, I was terrible at English at school, but I became interested in writing after reading travel guides when I started to travel. They seemed so evocative and exciting. Travel magazines, along with a skateboarding magazines - they were kind of the only thing I was really into reading. When I was at university, I started writing and sending things off to travel guides and skate magazines. The first thing I had published was in a skateboarding magazine – I remember finding it really exciting and scary seeing my name in print.”
“My parents had this wonderful wall of books in the entryway to our house. I loved seeing all those various titles shelved together – there was something awesome about so many different titles. I was also a reader rather early, and since my aunt worked at a bookstore, I got discounts on books such as the Encyclopaedia Brown series, and Choose Your Adventure titles. Writing my own stories felt like a natural offshoot of my reading interest. I just loved gathering and processing information.”
“I’d always been good at English. My teachers often singled me out for praise – which didn’t go down well with the boys who bullied me at school. Also, I’d always written for pleasure. I was writing short stories in junior school and longer stories in my teens. I started and gave up on several novels. Then, at university, I started writing plays. Staging them and seeing the response gave me greater confidence in my writing. But it wasn’t until the early 90s that I first had a book published.”