Childhood + ? = Writing Career (Penny Rader)

My brain froze when I saw the topic for this month's blog.  I'm not one of those writers who has written since childhood...except for a couple failed attempts to keep a journal (which I stopped after someone read it and repeated the info in front of me).

For weeks now I've been trying to decide what could've possibly happened during my growing-up years that molded me as a writer.  I considered accidentally-on-purpose forgetting to write my post, but then I came up with two things:

My love of reading.  When Sister Mary Renee told my first-grade self I was going to learn to read, well, panic surged. I thought she was going to give me a huge, thick red book and expect me to know what all those squiggles meant.  Once I learned what they meant I was happily hooked and I never stopped reading...which many moons later led to writing.

Playing.  When I was a kid (way back in the Dark Ages) we didn't have cable TV or computers or gaming systems.  We played outside.  A lot.  And used our imagination.One of my favorite things to do was play on the swing set and pretend I was being carried away by a bad guy (though what the 'bad guy' might actually do never occurred to me) and was then rescued by one of the current hotties of the day.

I know, not very heroine-like, waiting to be rescued, but as a kid who was bullied I needed to pretend that Bobby Sherman or Michael Landon rushed to protect me, to save me.


Did a specific event during your childhood inspire you to become a writer?


    Anonymous said...

    I can't think of a specific event, but I can say I created many stories with Ken and Barbie, Sonny and Cher, the Archie gang, Charlie's Angels, and the Six Million Dollar man and Bionic Woman--sometimes my brother's GI Joe stopped in for a visit, too.

    So to this day I consider myself a grown up who never shelved her many dolls. I just use my keyboard now. Heh.

    Penny Rader said...

    Welcome, Maggie!

    How could I forget Barbies? I loved playing with my Barbies. My school used to have fun night on Halloween. The year they had Barbie accessories in the fish pond was the best year ever. I'm so tickled my granddaughters share my fondness for Barbies.

    I was also a huge fan of Charlie's Angels. Always wished I had their moxie and courage.

    Thanks for the memories, Maggie.

    D'Ann said...

    Like you, reading and playing. My sister and I read everything not nailed down. And we played outside constantly. We were horses, we were cowboys and Indians, we were Arab sheiks...

    Penny Rader said...

    Hi D'Ann!

    We played cowboys and Indians, too. Actually, I received my first kiss from a boy while playing cowboys and Indians with the kids who lived across the street. I was six. I ran into the neighbor's house where my mom was for a Tupperware party and said, "James just kissed me!" My five-year-old brother piped in with "He sure did!" LOL

    Anonymous said...

    Hello Penny,

    I discovered that I had a talent for writing when my English teacher back when I was in school and living in England. I'm British.

    My teacher told me I have a good imagination and would be a great writer if I worked at it. I thought she was pulling my leg. With such an abusive growing up, I moved to Indiana, got married and was bored. My hubby told me to write something. I do keep a journal. I have now done NaNo write 4 yrs and was a winner last yr and this yr. I have written 3 novels, working on fourth. Thanks for this post it made me remember why I started writing...


    Penny Rader said...


    How great you had such an encouraging teacher! Teachers have tremendous impact on their students. It's always good to hear when that influence is positive.

    I went to a tiny Catholic school when I was kid. I had the same teacher for grades 4-6. My fave memory of Mrs Brady was that she read out loud to us. Tom Sawyer and Old Yeller are two of the stories that pop into my mind.

    Also, congrats on having a supportive husband and for participating and completing so many NaNos. Awesome!

    Susan Macatee said...

    Absolutely! I remember having a children's book about a dog that I read over and over, even taking it to bed at night. lol
    I also spent a lot of time making up scenarios for my Barbie dolls. And I loved to draw, so would write and illustrate my own picture books.
    And spent a lot of time just daydreaming up all kinds of stories.
    I think I was built to be a writer way back then.

    Penny Rader said...

    Hi Susan! I wish I had the ability to illustrate my writing. That'd be so awesome.

    One of the current members of WARA [Melissa]has shared her illustrations of her characters here on the blog. Faye, a former member, also does wonderful illustrations.

    Reese Mobley said...

    Ahhhhhh. Bobby Sherman. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. He was always my "Ken". Great post, Penny.

    Louise Behiel said...

    Sorry to be late to the party Penny. I'm just catching up. I read voraciously as a kid. everything. and I loved to write stories. I usually got good marks. but never thought about writing fiction until I got much, much older. Now I'm trying to catch up. thanks for bringing back some long forgotten memories.