I started writing when I was in high school. Granted, it was just some fan fiction and silly stuff but among wanting to be an astronaut, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader or a pilot of a fighter jet (I had big dreams), I wanted to be a writer.
I’m not even sure where the bug to write came from. It’s always been a part of me.
I remember sitting in Algebra class and because I didn’t care about the material so much, I started writing a novel. On notebook paper. In longhand. Front and back. It was over 200 pages of handwritten story. I have no idea what happened to it.
About that same time, I started reading Clive Cussler. I’m not sure who got me started on his books but I picked up Raise the Titanic one day and did a book report over it. Yeah that didn’t go well since we were supposed to be reading a classic.
Anyway, I wrote Clive Cussler a fan letter. I think I was maybe 17 or 18 at the time. What a dork. Much to my surprise, he wrote back! It was typed on stationary and he signed it. Mostly a scribble, but he actually SIGNED it. This was early on his career before he was a bazillionaire and owned a million classic cars. I remember the letter started off with, “If you want to write books…” and that was it. I can’t find it to this day which makes me really sad. So since I can’t remember the rest of the letter, I make up what it probably said:
If you want to write books, be determined and never give up on your dreams.
I doubt that’s what it said but it’s nice to think about. Even in my darkest days when I really did want to give up, deep down I never did. I still had that need to write. That drive. That perseverance. Something that kept pushing me. I think that’s why I delved deeper into myself to change what I was doing because it wasn’t working. I understand my writing-self more now than I did back then.
So don’t give up. Find that determination deep with you and keep your writing alive. If I can do it, so can you.