Bells kicked it off, I think. Then Amy Lane started up with the fan fiction (today's 'Coda' entry is quite cool, and educational), and now Louiz is writing about her writing. So, as Louiz said, either jumping on the bandwagon or some kind of cosmic zeitgeist (or possibly a form of commiseration), here you go.
I started writing when I was, literally, a kid. I remember writing a joke in yellow marker on a piece of cardboard, sometime before I started kindergarten. (Typically, my audience didn't get it. Story of my life.) I learned to read at four, and in my usual fashion, figured if other people could make stuff up, by golly, I could too. (This was reflected much later when I learned to knit - others design, by golly, I can too.)
I remember in grade school writing some story, getting a C on it, and having the teacher tell me it wasn't 'what she wanted'. Looking back, I'm still mildly enraged at the idiot teacher, who should have been thrilled a kid turned in ANYTHING, let alone something three times longer than the assignment was for, just because the kid enjoyed writing it.
Later, in high school, I had several nice teachers who gently encouraged the writing, usually by reading my work and making gentle suggestions. I'm sure as English teachers, they were pleased by any kid who ENJOYED writing and would cut their tongues out before discouraging that. I wasn't any good, but by churning out huge volumes of stuff, I developed a solid foundation in grammar and narrative voice.
Plus, I had an op/ed column in the school paper. I kicked off the end of my senior year with an editorial reminding all the teachers that they existed to teach us (not give lazy students A's, I was careful to point out, but to TEACH), and suggested that perhaps some of them needed to remember that. Nearly got suspended for it. Interestingly, the good teachers told me they liked it, and the lazy teachers who needed to hear it screamed for my blood.
And so I learned the power of the written word. Also the valuable lesson that very often, the people who most need to hear something, are the most resistant and hostile when it is said.
When I went to college, directly from high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do (going straight to college was an insanely stupid move, but that's a post for another day), so I went as an English major. A friend of mine recently told me that being an English major is like being a Marine. Once you've signed on, you're in it for life. Damn if it isn't true. What's the English major version of Semper Fi? Carpe diem? In college I realized there's more to writing a story than just good grammar. So I began studying literature and fiction more actively, seeing how other people did it. I read Joseph Campbell. I wrote a lot of papers of all sorts, for all kinds of classes. And eventually I realized that being a good novelist is not something you learn in college, so I quit school. Well, that and I still didn't know what I wanted to do, so staying seemed like a waste of money.
Over the next ten, fifteen years or so, I worked as an accounting clerk, got married, moved around, and wrote novels. No one wanted to publish them, but that seemed about par for the course; all writers had piles of rejection letters. I just kept on writing. At that point I think I had the wit to understand that for most writers, it's about the act of writing, of creation, not making money. As long as I enjoyed the writing, I was going to do it. And I did. I still do.
The novel writing gradually morphed into short stories, fan fic (yes, Amy, fan fic), smut, article writing, and then to KNITTING article writing. At about the same time, I went back to school and began writing papers there. And I began blogging, which was another lovely, enjoyable outlet for the writing. It turned out I was some kind of idiot savant for tech writing, and impressed my professors, my readers, and others. (If I have some amazing ability for explaining things, it's because I assume my audience is smart, but knows nothing about the topic. I don't talk down, but I explain EVERYTHING.)
This brings us to now. Most of my writing these days is limited to short things; articles or blog posts, or fan fic (which I consider a brain twinkie). I blame it on the Goober, but really, I think part of it also comes from all the medication I'm on for the hand problem. I have trouble concentrating for long amounts of time. That seems to be changing, though, and I'm thinking of going back to the novels. I never quit studying fiction, and how other people write things. It's time, I think.
Maybe when the Goober's older, I'll look into doing more tech writing, for more of a living. But, honestly, tech writing for other people kind of sucks. They micro-manage it down until they might as well write it themselves; they'd hire me for the humor that I put into my tech stuff, and then edit the humor out later. So, I don't know. Maybe I'll stick to articles on what I want, when I want.
But either way, for pay or for personal enjoyment, writing has always been something I do, and something I enjoy. I've got no plan to quit; in fact, it's my fallback plan to remain sane. If and when my hand finally craps out and I can't knit any more, it will be writing I will turn to for comfort.
Kind of boring, but there you go. Probably only Bells, Amy, and Louiz have stuck with me this far. Haha.