I always ask a certain few questions when I interview a writer, so I thought I’d try posing those questions to myself, starting with: When did you know you were a writer?
Well, self, I was nine years old and in fourth grade. I think it was spring. We were assigned to do book reports on biographies/autobiographies chosen by the librarian. I wish I remembered her name; I’d love to look her up, send her god-chaser when it comes out, and ask her if she had any idea I was meant to be a writer when she assigned me a co-authored autobiography of Judy Blume.
Strangely, the only thing I remember about the book is being annoyed by a passage where she talks about leaving her husband because her life was so good her writing was suffering. I’m still of the mindset that life brings enough suffering without seeking it out.
But something in that book must have resonated, because I started reading her novels, and I decided I was going to be a writer. For a few months, I pondered a series of short stories I never actually wrote–imitation Judy Blume. That summer I turned 10, and I wrote my first poem, a silly rhyming thing with fairy-tale beings that sadly was preserved by my father in a framed print-out.
Once I wrote that pathetic excuse for a poem, I knew I was a writer. I’ve been one ever since.