I’m Writing Because of. . .

Lemony Snicket.

Well, I mean there are quite a few other reasons I’m a writer (or trying to be one) but Lemony Snicket is the first author who comes to mind when I think about who first inspired me to write.

I’ve been writing stories practically since I could write. I have, somewhere in my room at my parent’s house, a few old notebooks filled with letters so large they take up two and half lines. Most of the words are misspelled, and they are all about horses. Along with writing, I’ve always loved animals and some of the first chapter books I read were the Pony Pals so it only makes sense that my Kindergarten self was writing stories about girls who went to riding school and loved ponies.

But, even though I have been writing stories for much longer, I can’t remember feeling the desire to actually become a writer until I was about 10 or 11. That feeling came while reading A Series of Unfortunate Events. I had read most of the series either from the library or borrowed from people but I wanted to own the whole thing so I bought the set (I don’t think the last two were out yet). It came with a journal.

Feeling inspired by Snicket, I decided to write my own story (which I now realize would be called Fan Fiction since I used some of the same characters though I invented my own main ones). This was the first time I ever thought about writing as a job. My young naive self was even convinced that I could write out a copy-cat story in a notebook and become the youngest famous author of chapter books (so sue me for having big dreams).

Despite my big dreams when starting this project, I only made it about three or four “chapters” in before I lost the notebook somewhere in our holiday trailer. Feeling dismayed, I gave up on that story. It was only years later (in my mid-teens as we were deep-cleaning the trailer to be sold) that I found the notebook and realized that my younger self was the worst kind of person.

I had left off my Snicket-inspired story in the middle of a sentence. Not just any sentence, but this one. “Then the children heard the most awful words they had ever heard in their lives, and those words were. . .”

Yep. I did that to myself. For the life of me I can’t remember what the awful words were going to be. I like to think that maybe that story was the beginning of my love for stories with partially unhappy endings.

Even though I never finished that particular story, I wrote many others. I also realized that while I couldn’t become a novelist as a full time career right out of high school I could still write for living and love it (I am in school for a Communications Degree, and I am so glad I get to do that as a career).

Eventually, I know I will publish some of my writing, and though I hope it won’t be quite as abruptly ended as my journal, I can only hope it will be worthy of my inspiration. Thanks Lemony Snicket.

–Erika

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your story of authors who inspired you to start writing (or people who inspired you to start doing whatever it is you do) so let me know in the comments!

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