Thursday, September 19, 2013

When Did You Start Writing?

Every writer has a story. In almost every interview, one of the questions asked is, “When did you start writing?” People who say that they’ve always wanted to write or they began when they were very young blow my mind.

It wasn’t like that for me … or was it?

I never really thought about it much until that question popped up a bunch over the past couple of years. I couldn’t remember wanting to write. However, some things are inevitable. While unpacking boxes recently, I came across a paper that I had written for school when I was ten.

The Life and Times of the Number Two Son of the Devitt Family.

We’ve all written school papers, however, when I came across this one, I had to laugh. On the title page, I found something that blew me away. Here’s the ‘Front Matter’:

Author: Jimmy Devitt
Publisher: Jimmy Devitt
Photographer: Devitt Family

WHAT!? Who would have known that at ten years old, I would have realized that I was going into self-publishing? After all, this was something like 40 years ago.

Now we fast-forward to high school. Here’s where writing changed my life, literally. I entered an essay contest in the Seattle Times, writing on the topic, “Why I wanted to be a Bat Boy for the Seattle Mariners.” Long story short … I won. I became the visiting clubhouse batboy for the Seattle Mariners, working on the field for Major League Baseball. For the next eight years of my life, I worked with the likes of Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Mark McGwire, Nolan Ryan and the rest of pro baseball.

The weird thing is, until recently, if you would have asked me about how I got started in writing, I would have said it started late in life.

So, in conclusion, I’ll end with immortal words of Jimmy Devitt in the last lines of “The Life and Times …”

"… That’s about all I can tell you now. If I went on I’ll have hundreds of pages. So, now I’ll have to say goodbye. I hope the rest of my life is better from now on. There’s not much more you can get out of me now. So here’s Jimmy Devitt saying goodbye, “Good-Bye”.

  is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. This post originally appeared recently on Jim's column on Indies Unlimited. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!


  1. I would tell stories to my stuffed animals before I could even write. In many of my author interviews that I post on my blog, anecdotes have been shared about making little books, selling stories to peers, and just generally loving stories. My guess is writing hooks most people before we have the common sense to run away at lighting speed!

    1. You are right about that. Common sense has surely suffered! No doubt that its something deep inside that leads us to writing.

      Thanks for commenting

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  3. Stopping by from Indies Unlimited. I feel somewhat like you in that I remember writing a story as a kid a long, long time ago, then my first novel ten years ago, but for years I didn't write anything and never really thought of myself as a writer until this year when I started focusing on it full-time. I guess for some of us writing is one of those things destined to be a significant part of our lives no matter how much we try to avoid it!