How Early Did You Start Writing?

As Journalism students, we (likely) all have a certain flair for the written word.  Every so often, I think back to the days when I was just a young lad, and specifically the writing that I used to do.

I started when I was about seven years old, on a Macintosh that I’m pretty sure is older than time itself.  For the technologically-inclined among us, I believe the hard drive space on the thing 99 Megabytes.  Not even one Gigabyte.  And to think that I just ordered a portable hard drive the size of my hand that’s got 1 Terabyte of storage… but I digress.

I wrote the dumbest stories you can imagine when I was young.  And I loved it; absolutely loved it.  I can distinctly remember the feeling of just having a thought or a concept come into my head, and being insanely pumped to go sit down at the computer to form and write a story about it.

This strays a little bit from the topic of just straight “journalism” of course, because no, at seven years old I was not breaking compelling local stories.  I was writing fiction, but I think any journalist worth his salt will agree that story-telling is a crucial aspect to a good story, whether it’s fiction or not.

One of the first stories I ever wrote was called “Wing-Wa-Soo: Fighting Chinese Monkey”.  It was a story about a monkey, whose owner was cruel and kept him caged up all day long.  So one day, he decided to teach himself kung-fu from within the confines of his cage, and the next time his owner opened the cage to feed him, he beat him up and escaped.

Can’t believe I actually just publicized that information.

I still have the folder that houses every short story I wrote when I was a kid, and, of course, all of them are pretty brutal.  But they are a reminder of why I am where I am, and how I got here.  They remind me to never underestimate the most basic but important aspect of journalism; story-telling.

If you can remember the very first story or piece of writing you ever wrote, feel free to share it.  Chances are it’s not as embarrassing as mine!

  1. I love that you shared the story about the monkey, but even more importantly the fact that you still have the folder with every bad story you ever wrote.
    I, too, have a folder like that and my stories are pretty awful as well. Most of the time they involved dramatic captures which were eventually to turn into escapes, but usually left the protagonist suffering somewhere as the author turned to her newest idea.
    Thank you for sharing. I love that you did, because now I can say, me too!

    • Erica Johnson
    • September 15th, 2011

    I totally relate to this. My first story was “Carrots in the Fridge” in grade 1. I wrote so many stories when I was little. They are all terrible, but they’re all bound and in a box in the basement.

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