Cruising Altitude 2.0), Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl), Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Matthew MacNish (Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment), the idea is to post your own origin story:
Tell us all where your writing dreams began. It could be anything from how you started making up stories as a child, or writing for the school newspaper, or even what prompted you to start a blog. How about stories about the first time somebody took an interest in your writing, or the teacher/mentor that helped nudge you along and mold your passion, or maybe the singular moment when you first started calling yourself a writer. It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own, unique, beginnings.
For my origin story, I'd have to look back to my last year of high school. A voracious reader and definite sci-fi/fantasy/horror geek, I was nevertheless headed down a science-oriented career path. The dreamer in me wanted to be either an archaeologist or paleontologist, digging up the secrets of yesterday and discovering the lost treasures of history/pre-history. The realist in me, however, was resigned to being stuck in a lab somewhere, most likely as a chemist or physicist.
As much as I had always thought it would be cool to be a best selling novelist someday, I hadn't really thought of it as something that was ever likely to happen. Fortunately, I had an amazing History / Political Science teacher who really leaned on me to improve my essay writing skills, and who pushed me to interject more creativity into things. He kept lamenting the fact that I wanted to waste my time with math and science, when he could see I had a writer within in me. It's odd, but 2 years of History and Political Science with him probably taught me more about writing than a lifetime of English classes.
Anyway, enter my high school English teacher. It was a Friday, the final day of submissions for the high-school writing competition, and he asked me if I intended to enter anything. I honestly hadn't given it any thought, and I told him as much. He refused to take 'no' for an answer and urged me to come up with something over the weekend. Once again I got the "don't waste your talent" speech. If I could get something into him before first period Monday morning, he'd take it as a late entry. I had no idea where to even begin, but I took the challenge and spent the weekend writing.
What I came up with was a comic/satiric piece of medieval fantasy. Much to my surprise, it took first place in the contest, and gave me a much-needed boost of confidence . . . plus a small cash prize. I took what I learned from that experience, revised and polished the story, and submitted it to a few literary contests over the summer. While I didn't win, I was named as a semi-finalist in one, and that was pretty much the final nail in the science-as-a-career-path coffin.
It would be five more years before my first professional sale to Parsec magazine, but for the first time time I really knew what I wanted to do with my life . . .