Wednesday, 8 July 2020

When did you start?

Although I made up stories for my little brother from when I was about five, I didn't start writing until my mid 30s. Sometimes I wish I'd started sooner, but perhaps I simply wasn't ready? When did you start, or plan to start writing – and what do you think is the best age?

This free to enter writing competition is for children aged 12 and under. They want 'funny, weird or otherwise unique' creative writing. This poetry competition is for kids aged 11-17. Do you know any child writers? (If none of you do, I won't bother sharing details of competitions for them.)

This competition is for mystery and suspense writers of any age. There's a $950 prize, but unfortunately it's one of those decided by 'reader engagement' so more a popularity contest than test of your writing. Still, it's free to enter, so you might feel it's worth a try.

Whatever your age, if you'd like to write but don't know where to start, or used to write and want a nudge to get back to it, or just want some ideas about what to write next, these two books could help. Both From Story Idea to Reader and A Year Of Ideas: 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises, do what they say on the cover.

Tonight's #WritingChat topic is 'reading for pleasure'. All readers and writers are welcome to join in by tweeting 8-9 UK time, using the hashtag. You don't need to follow me on Twitter to take part, but feel free if you'd like to do that.


Marguerite said...

I started writing after I retired - because you don't have much spare time as a teacher - and I now wish I'd made some. No children around now (hundreds before!) but I am interested in the mystery and suspense competition. Thank you, Patsy.

Lynn Love said...

Thanks for the comps list, Patsy. Like you, I'm not keen on reader judged comps. I want to be judged on my writing, not by how many friends I have! I returned to writing in my 30s too. I wish I'd started earlier but it took till then for me to accept how hard you have to work at some things to be good at them. I've put in a lot of time and effort and now I'm publishable. I might not have stuck at it if I'd tried at a younger age.

ados123 said...

Started writing some twenty years ago but didn't find my niche until about five years ago. However, I've written for all sorts of things including many travel pieces in the past.
I also don't know children who write any more and probably won't enter the mystery competition because I also prefer to be judged on my writing rather than the number of voters I can muster.
But thanx for posting, Patsy.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I didn't start writing until my 40's. It's had to be sporadic due to a full-time job as an attorney, being caregiver to my late husband, and being a mom. I'm glad I write but I'm glad that I let it take a back seat to my other very important duties in life.

Lindsay said...

I always enjoyed writing and wrote a 'novel' when I was about 9 or 10 (I still have it!) later at about 14 & 15 I wrote 2 more, which I have somewhere still I believe. I think they will remain unpublished. Then I played around with a story but didn't really start until my late 40s. I'd done a literature degree for fun and missed the activity so enrolled in a class. I haven't been very productive as I was still working of course then, but a bit more produced now. But it's been a fun journey.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - it was only when I started blogging that I realised I could write for the 'public' ... I'd been writing letters while my mother was ill and had positive results - and I fortunately found 'my voice' on the blog fairly quickly ... and have just plodded along ever since. Perhaps I will enter a few competitions at some stage. You've done brilliantly - and I admire your successful efforts as well as all the opportunities you've grabbed and learnt from. All the best - Hilary

Bendywriter said...

Like many, I've always been a bit of a 'scribbler'. However, it wasn't until I retired and joined a writing group that I paid much attention to the craft of writing. Should I have done that earlier? Probably, but life is full of toys to play with.

Linda said...

Like Marguerite, I too only started writing after retiring from teaching. I thought I would have more time but things fill up your time and when you say your busy writing it's not taken as seriously as, say, busy planning lessons. I feel I have learnt a lot from Patsy and other writers who have been generous with their advice but I still have a lot to learn.