It is a simple question. So, why do I have such a hard time answering it?
I definitely had a few extra helpings of imagination as a child. Time out was never a punishment for me; it was just more time to escape into the worlds I had created. I remember sharing stories with anyone with ears, and as I got to the exciting parts I would talk faster. I was not very accomplished at transitions, A remember a lot of And Then's... ( And then her siblings found some duct tape. And then they shoved her in the dryer, and taped it shut. And then they turned the dryer on. And then she started screaming because they didn't duct tape her mouth.) I hope I have improved some since then.
When we had to write stories for the young writers contest, my stories got selected as one of the top in my class several years. I am not sure if this celebrated the high caliber of my craft, or if there were slim pickings. I unfortunately did not save what might have been some of my best work. I do remember a story about a young boy Dominic being adopted. That may have been the entire plot, I do not recall.
Junior high and high school years marked the majority of my poetry phase. Lots of angst-filled poetry. I think I was a sad version of Dr Seuss. My junior year, I took a creative writing class. My teacher praised my prose and poetry and told me not to give up on it. I even won a scholarship to my very first writer's conference. Sadly, I did not learn all that I should have because I was way to boy crazy to care about being a good writer.
In college, I put aside my desire for writing for a more marketable major; Communications with an emphasis in Advertising and Marketing. For a brief moment, I considered a minor in psychology, but it didn't stick.
I am not sure why I throw my writing desire under the bus. Fortunately, a couple years after graduation, a good friend of mine mentioned that she had written a novel. She was on her first round of edits. She provided the breath that ignited the long forgotten embers that still burned within me. Most days I thank her inwardly. Some days I am sure she only succeeded in awakening my crazies. But since that day, I have known. I want to be a writer. Since then it has been up to me to be a writer.
So how about you? When did you know?