Lots of writers have always wanted to be - or indeed, always have been - writers. In some way or another. They'll talk about how they were born with a Marble notebook and ballpoint pen in hand (which, God bless your mother!) or how they sat daydreaming story ideas in sixth grade or accidentally entered a Poetry.com context when they were 9 and it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time.
I'd always written. I was one of those babies who needed to be delivered via C-section because Five-star binders full of wee toddler stories just weren't designed to pass through certain places, know what I'm saying?
In first and second grade, in my first school back when I still lived in NYC, every year each kid would get a hardcover, totally blank white book. About A4 paper-size, maybe 20-30 pages on the inside. We got to write and draw our own stories as an assignment. I imagine you would respect me a lot less if I told you it was about a distinctly self-insert character who lost his pet hedgehog just before the school show-and-tell fair. But I just accidentally told you anyway, so there's that.
I'd always written. But I never thought of myself as a writer, even though I wrote constantly and weaved stories out of every single thing and took Creative Writing classes in middle school and read like books were oxygen and I was gasping for air. It didn't occur to me that this was A Thing I Could Do, Like For Reals until maybe halfway through high school.
But I should have.
A year or so ago, I was going through a collection of my things that had been boxed up and put in storage when I moved away to college. I'd been far from this storage space ever since and hadn't gone through my belongings there in five years or so. Going through my collections, I found that first hedgehog story from when I was but a wee young lad.
But it wasn't the sad saga of Ricky the Missing Hedgehog that made me realize I was destined to lead the life of a writer whether I liked it or not. It was the inscription I'd written on the inside of the front cover, that read something along the lines of:
(C) 1994 RICHARD LIPMAN. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. If you purchased this book without a cover, you should know it is stolen property and the author received no payment.
I cracked up when I discovered the wily ways of my 7 year-old self, and immediately showed my mother. We decided I was stuck on the writer's path, pretty much, come hell or high water.
So. When did you know - know for sure - that you were a writer? Share your stories in the comments!