Notes from Crew Quarters: Becoming Writers
This week, we asked our editors: When did you know that you wanted to write?
Amy Hansen, Associate Poetry Editor
Someone I cared about a long time ago told me I wasn't a brave writer and I believed it because I was a goofy teen. So some years later, after my backbone grew in, I decided, "I will now be a brave writer," and I am, in my own estimation -- and that's how I know.
Hayli Cox, Associate Nonfiction Editor
At four years old I wrote a "poem" for my mom on the wall with her eyeliner, and instead of yelling she hugged me and cried. I never realized how powerful even the simplest, misspelled words could be.
Mike Berry, Associate Fiction Editor
Part One: In 7th grade I read a Rick Reilly column (when he still wrote for Sports Illustrated). It was the first time I realized that funny and smart could happen when writing about sports. I wanted to do that too.
Part Two: I was voted "Least Funny" by my high school graduating class.
Part Three: I realized I wasn't funny when I wrote news, feature, or sports articles, took a creative writing class, realized I wasn't funny there, but loved writing (about sports and other things) anyway. Game over. Words rock.
Jacque Boucher, Spoken Word Poetry
In first grade I wrote a riveting mystery called "Have You Seen My Set of Pets?" which received rave reviews from both my teacher and mom. Then, when I was twenty, I won a slam with a poem called "Upchuck: A Love Story." I've been chasing more attention and weirder titles ever since.
Annie Bilancini, Associate Fiction Editor
In fourth grade I wrote and illustrated a story called Nate Schlark is Afraid of the Dark and entered it in a youth writing competition. It was about a boy named Nate Schlark who was afraid of the dark, obviously. And it rhymed. In the story, Nate was afraid there was monster under his bed, but what he assumed was a monster was actually a love letter from an anonymous dead person. It won no awards.
Deziree’ Brown, Associate Poetry Editor
I was born with a poem written on my chest, so probably sometime before I was born.
John LaPine, Associate Nonfiction Editor
As a middle schooler, I was one of the kids who always carried a book. I read on the bus, during recess, and in study hall. It didn't take much to absorb me into a story of kids surviving the wilderness, or preteen wizards. Sometime in high school I realized I wrote more goodly than I speaked, and that maybe one day I could be the one to write the worlds that absorbed readers.
Jason Teal, Associate Nonfiction Editor
I decided to become a writer this morning--after dying a little inside each night. In the empty hours between words. And so on.
Stephen Wardell, Associate Poetry Editor
In high school I wrote half a novel. Then I deleted the word document because I hated it so much. Been hooked ever since.