I realized when I was walking home last night that was a huge lie.
2008 was when I admitted I was a writer. It was when I started showing people my work. I joined Writing.com and began critiquing and getting critiques, but I was a writer long before that.
I've always written. Even in the periods of my life I think I wasn't writing, I realize I was. I wrote as a child, just little stories mostly, but I remember writing a book about volcanoes when I was 8 or 9. When I was 12, a teacher loved a story I wrote in class and that sparked me to fill notebook after notebook with stories. I'm sure they're all awful. One day I'll work up the courage to dig them out of that box in the shed to see. The first drafts of both Assignment 9 and Holding it together came from this period. There is one paragraph left in Assignment 9 from that first draft, the one paragraph that was the genesis of the novel.
In high school, I kept writing. I remember an English teacher telling me she had to vomit after reading one of my early attempts at horror. Then I got into drama and focused my energy on acting... and playwrighting. I did a couple of courses in playwrighting, and was involved with a young playwright's festival both as an actor and a writer several times.
I finished my first novel while at university. I've read that more recently and it's horrible. Moments of lovely writing, but overall awful. That one stays in the trunk. I had a friend who wanted to write too and we used to challenge one another with words and settings as prompts, something I had totally forgotten about. Later, my singer/songwriter friend and I did the same thing.
And I thought I wasn't writing during this time? I was. I wrote screenplays too. I found the notebook in which I had written one recently and had sudden flashes of myself in my dingy apartment in Sydney, trying to keep cool in the sweaty heat, scrawling this script in purple ink.
I did a correspondence writers course for a few months too, got 8 lessons in before my first son was born and I ran out of time. I never finished which is a shame... But the point is, I've never not written, something I failed to recognize about myself. I've always been a writer. It's not a recent thing, it's been a lifelong passion.
How about you? Have you always written and not realized it? Or are you a true newcomer?