Writers I've spoken with have listed varying responses as to where their love of writing originated. For many it came from early years of reading, for others it was discovered later in life, while for others it's a question that they still ponder. Sometimes writers recall it's not one thing but many little things that lead to the desire to write. And sometimes that inspiration can start unexpectedly.
I was contemplating my own love for this art form, when I realized that quite possibly my first love for writing came from my dad. Ironically, he hated to write. But he had another gift, the gift of story-telling. He had a way of keeping his listeners hanging on his every word, wondering would happen next.
Most of Dad's stories centered around the mischief he constantly managed to get into as a kid. I loved listening to those escapades and laughing until my sides hurt. Of course Mom was always frowning in the background, fearing that one of us might try one of his pranks and plead, "But Dad did it, why can't I?" What I did, though, was far worse.
I think I was in fifth grade at the time. The class had been given a creative writing assignment, so naturally, I chose to write my version of a favorite story I'd heard Dad tell numerous times. It was about an exceptionally creative prank he had played at school, and one for which he'd never gotten caught (hence the delight in telling it). The following day, I was thrilled when my story was returned to me with a large A+ written boldly in bright red ink across the top of the first page. I couldn't wait to show my dad.
When he arrived home from work that day, I proudly shoved my paper with its glowing A+ in front of him and waited for the praise. Imagine my confusion when he was (ahem*) less than thrilled. Though I was strictly forbidden to write about any of his stories ever again, the smiles and snickers from even the sourest of nuns at school as they passed me in the hall, was priceless. Maybe not so much for my dad.
That day, the joyful seed of entertaining readers was planted in me, and has since continued to grow. My experience might also explain why I often feel compelled to include humor in my writing, no matter the genre. However, I have kept my promise that I made all those years ago to my dad, and have never again written about any of his hilarious stories. It wouldn't be the same anyway. -- M.A. Koontz