All throughout this month, we’ve been sharing the wonderful stories from our community about their relationship with writing. In particular, “How did you first meet?”
Today, we present our fifth and final selection – thanks again for all those who shared stories with us. We love how diverse and inspired our writing community is. Enjoy!
A feeling of bliss encapsulated my heart when I imagined for the first time writing about love. After all, I was here to love, be loved and writing could make the perfect triangular love affair.
Excited by the idea, I flipped my ruler-lined school science book to the back page and began to write my first romance story while secretly imagining I would be as famous as Danielle Steele and maybe I would be more popular among the girls in my year 9 class, if the teacher didn't catch me loving something other than science that is.
– Sallyann Havilah-Collins
When did I first fall in love with writing? I think writing has always been a part of me, and one of my first loves. From writing in a cheap $2 colouring pad from the newsagency down the street, to submitting my first short story into a competition, filled with hope and ambition, I have always loved writing. I believe this love is fed by my intense passion for reading. Every book store I walk past, I near always have to walk in, even if I don't have the money to buy one. I have always loved stories.
– Caroline Williams
Mum arrived home from the hairdresser sporting her new short, red hair-do. I saw it, I didn't like it and I told her. The words that left my mouth transformed to tears down her face. I'd made a mistake and apologised, but it was too late. I retreated to my room pulled out a pen and paper and wrote her a letter. I needed her to know that I thought she was beautiful. Twenty years later, the letter remains, and the spoken words forgotten. When it comes to matters of the heart, the pen has more power than the voice.
– Samantha Midgley
Writing has always been there. He perched playfully on my childhood desk, distracting my mind when it should have been full of algebra. I barely noticed him in my teenage years. Gradually, I grew up and so did Writing. He served me well through my corporate years, formal and respectful in his pinstriped suit. Then I embarked on a whirlwind of solo travel and Writing and I were finally alone. We came into our own then. Our letters brought a world of colour and wonder to friends back home and now we are inseparable. True soulmates forever.
– Karen Biggs
I loved your cousin first. I'm sorry.
I met him before preschool. He gave me countless worlds to hide in with all those beautiful stories.
But then you came along and you stole my heart and we created our very own worlds. You stole kisses from me too, under the light of the street lamp outside my bedroom window. We became inseparable at school and before I was even a teenager I knew I would be with you forever.
Oh my dear Writing, I'm sorry I still have a soft spot for Reading but I swear I love you both.
– Dannie Travers
I was hooked the first time that I saw beautiful loops and swoops appear on the page from under my mother's pen.
I was four, and illiterate, but that didn't matter.
Smitten under its spell, I lost hours unravelling my thoughts.
I was never the same, and neither were our yellow pages.
– Crystal Williams
I started writing at a very early age. I became enamoured with the idea for a story where a young girl, “Peni”, finds an abandoned sea bird egg and hatches it – I was inspired by films such as Storm Boy. Unfortunately, due to my childlike understanding of grammar, I caused great hilarity among my family members when they read the title: “Penis Story” (Peni's Story).
It hasn't deterred me and I still write to this day- I am just more careful with my spelling of names now!
– Jessica Blackman
I can't remember not being able to read – and I can't remember not loving being able to read – but I CAN remember the day I fell in love with writing. I was about 10 and my aunt moved to Korea and wrote me a letter. I responded and suddenly we were corresponding every week. I remember the onion skin airmail paper and the exotic stamps – and the excitement of receiving her response knowing it was now my turn to write.
– Teresa Savage
When Jack and Jill went up that hill to fetch their pail of water I knew right then, that there could be so much more. There were so many possibilities for them if only someone picked up a pen and wrote more. It was then I realised I wanted to be that someone and I fell in love with writing. I wanted to paint with words another reality that could infect the person reading with laughter or reduce them to silent tears of sadness or make them pull the quilt over their head at night in fear. Thus I write.
– Cindy Farrant
I had a dream and wrote it down, word for word.
I wrote it on the back of bills and paper scraps feverishly.
“What's this?” Justin, eleven, asked.
“It's a story.”
He took the pages. “Sis, these aren't words.”
“Yes they are.”
“You can't read them.”
I was insistent, stubborn and four. “I wrote a story.”
“Then read it for me.”
He was frightened. “Mum!”
He pointed at me. “Read it again.”
Word for word.
They were stunned.
The pages were illegible to them.
But they made sense to me.
– Bianca Inglezos
I fell in love with writing when I watched my mother clanking away on an old Remington. Later she graduated to a wonder of the modern world, an electric typewriter, but when I fell in love she used a manual and had to bang hard to depress the keys. She wore red nail polish and matching lipstick and her mouth would purse into interesting shapes as she wrote. I was in kindergarten, could read simple stories and knew that stories didn't just happen. Someone wrote them. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer like my mum.
– Amanda Midlam
I was moved by my own three-page apology letter to my best friend, at age seven, for breaking her best ruler. Handing over a sticker-laden glittered envelope I thought to myself ‘wow this is really beautiful' (it was not in fact beautiful). I've been writing fantastic apology letters ever since.
– Rachael Frawley
It's the early 1990s. Tracksuits equal fashion, and Captain Planet is our hero. At a wooden kitchen table, I sit with the first “book” I ever wrote. It's scraps of paper stapled together, with abstract sketches of the family dog Jenny featured on every page. And so is the word “moth”. According to my parents, this is the first word I ever learned to spell. In that book, Jenny was a moth. Her name was moth. It's likely the pictures even resembled a moth rather than a dog. But amidst the moths, were dreams. And a storyteller was born.
– Jessica Tunnage
My love affair with writing began when I was at boarding school, back in the 1960s. I absolutely hated boarding school and decided to rebel, not take any notes during lessons, and instead write stories.
The only class I enjoyed was English Literature, I loved reading and could also write essays about various subjects.
Being a really quiet and somewhat timid girl, writing gave me a chance to voice my opinions without fear of ridicule.
Yes, writing is my first love and has stood me in great stead all of my 70 years.
– Jennifer Lockhart
I've always loved stories, and for years, would make them up with my toys. But the first time I fell in love with putting pen to paper, I was 11. I don't remember what I wrote about back then, though, but it sparked something in me that I spent years on and has resulted in me getting a job as part of the writing team for Scholastic Australia as I work towards writing a novel.
– Ashleigh Meikle
I am six. I know I want to be an author and maybe also a ballerina and a vet. I've written a story called “The Return of Teddy” and it has a bit that I think is funny (but mum doesn't). “Teddy looked through the keyhole and saw Anna and the Mean Boy taking off their clothes and kissing. The Mean Boy said ‘I love you my rich baby' and Anna said ‘I know you do darling.'” It gets published (typed by the school secretary) and put in the school library for everyone to read. I'm hooked.
– Renee Boyer
Imagine you're at a job interview and the interviewer asks the opening question:
“Tell me your story”
How would you respond?
This prompt is the moment that made me fall in love with storytelling.
Because no matter the context our brains are always seeking a story.
Stories affirm who we are. They provide connections between ourselves and others, real or imagined, and help make meaning of our lives.
At the end of the day, storytelling is an innate human experience and the words that make up our stories can educate, heal, motivate and inspire. This is why I write!
– Stefanie Gaspari
We Were On A Break! A whirlwind romance in school, we had a class together. Eventually though, writing and I were ‘on a break'. Always in the back of my mind though, it was never far away. We remained Friends.
A year ago, we found each other again. Now more in love than ever, we are obsessed with each other (more me, but that's okay). Things are serious now, and I have no doubt we will be together forever – never separated again.
– Christy Tobeck
I fell in love with writing as soon as Dad showed me how to write my address on an envelope when I was four years old. After that, I was obsessed. I was always writing “The Longest Story of the Year” every grade through primary school. But when high school rolled around, I'd lost sight of how important it was to me. What else was out there? Since then, it's been a game of cat and mouse, with me running away and writing always finding me. I should never have tried to leave in the first place. Writing is home.
– Suzy Darlington
My writing love affair began with broken hearts; my parent's divorce. Two years later, my mother took me to a paediatric therapist as I was still having problems adjusting. The therapist asked me to make up a story, on the spot, about anything at all. I started talking about a group of school friends transported to another world in a magical box and their quest to get home. The therapist said I had a wonderful imagination. With that encouragement, when I got home, I started writing that story. Years later, I'm still transported by the magical quest of writing.
– Mike Sams
I was in a situation of powerlessness. I knew the people I was involved with were bad people who presented themselves to the world as the custodians of the moral order. Can you guess? Underneath they were a Brood of Vipers. My protestations were ignored and ridiculed. I was threatened. I discovered writing. I exposed this situation, in its various forms, to the world around me, by writing public letters and articles. People supported me financially; they circulated my articles. My stuff was published in various magazines. For me, writing is power. I fell in love with it.
– Brendan Walters
I would write poems for a boy I had a crush on in High School. Eventually the boy stopped mattering and what remained was my love for words and the stories I could spin.
– Alice Saboor
My Year 10 teacher laughed aloud when she read my essay on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which I ended with: “McMurphy: saviour or psychopath? Well, it's there in the title. He flew *over* the cuckoo's nest. He didn't land in it.” I knew then I could be clever and funny on the page and I'd affect people. I was hooked.
– Sandy Barker
It's not a conventional relationship. It's a rewarding threesome, and I ask others to reserve judgment. It was writing's close cousin Reading that got it all started. I reached a stage when the inspiration of reading great writers fuelled my creativity and it needed an outlet. It began tentatively, with notes passed during class, weekly school essays and then summing up my courage, my first writing competition at 11. Black, white and grey; left, right and the middle; Reading, Writing and me. You're probably part of a threesome yourself. And if not, don't judge until you have tried it.
– Amanda De Souza