Sheesh, I'm 42 --- how am I supposed to remember my original inspiration???
I was either in third or fourth grade when I decided I wanted to be an author. I'm not sure which grade, because I have a very distinct memory of telling the third-grade teacher Mr. Burger how I wanted to be an author when I grew up because I had to repeat myself and change the word from author to writer because I must have had enough of a speech impediment that author came out sounding like Arthur.
But the fourth grade is when I really remember my first writing attempts. I forget the exact assignment, but I wrote a short story for it. It was in the vein of Trixie Belden mysteries I was reading about that time. I tried writing grownup characters, however, and Mr. Haflett gave me a grade in the B range for it (I don't remember if it was a B+, B, OR B- ...it was a looong time ago!!) How silly it must have been though, much like the Indiana Jones novelette I wrote much later.
I was also writing fan fiction in fourth grade. Airwolf, because I think I had a crush on Stringfellow Hawke AKA Jan-Michael Vincent. I remember getting in trouble with a couple of classmates because I had used their names (Sorry guys, I had crushes on you two too and didn't know what to do about it...what can I say? I was 9.) I'm just glad that not only have I matured enough to create original and unique characters...but have also learned to write better villains so I don't have to call them "Bad John" to let readers know they're the villain. Thank all the writing Gods for the Random Name Generators!!
And I never stopped writing.
Sometime after my father first started having trouble with his health (appendicitis led to scar tissue which led to obstructed bowels which led to him stroking out on the operating table) I was introduced to the Star Wars universe. It was a universe I could escape into and did so frequently. As well as the Star Trek universe and Indiana Jones. I worked on my Star Wars novel all through middle school and high school (I kept having to adjust it as new books began hitting the market in 1991.) I did complete it, a few months after graduating. And it was lost over time.
I always had story ideas when I was younger. Was constantly writing them down to get to someday (I don't even know what happened to those notebooks - things get lost every time you move). Then, it was a way to escape the seriousness of my existence. It was hard growing up with a sick father. It was just hard growing up and writing was my way of dealing with it.
There are other worlds in my head, and characters who fill them. A movie plays in my head with narration and if I don't write them down, they keep me up at night and distract me during the day. Of course, new scenes replace the written ones even as they're being written. They overlap and repeat and fall into order repeatedly.
Writing is the only way I can make sense of the madness in my head. Madness, anxiety, depression., pain, grief, insecurities, questions, and What-If?'s. Writing holds the monsters at bay, even if it doesn't tame them.