The Origins of Writing

This is my post for the  Origins Blogfest. Organized by the awesome team of DL, Katie, Alex and Matt, this blogfest asks us to talk about our writing origins.

(It was supposed to post yesterday while I was sleeping, but the Blogger Gods were obviously displeased, so I’m publishing this manually today.)

When I was six, I came back from school one day and told my shocked parents a helicopter had landed in the school grounds and given us kids rides. At this point, I had never watched television, (in my home country, India, televisions made a rather late entry), leave alone see a helicopter in real life or on celluloid.

But according to my father (who knew all about planes and helicopters, thanks to his youthful ambitions of joining the air force that came to naught because of his eyesight) I described the pilot, the helicopter interiors, the fan and the wind with so much conviction and accuracy that he was tempted to rush off to my school. He stopped because my mother reminded him of all the fanciful tales I was always telling them on a daily basis.

Years later when I was studying English literature, my father told me of his reaction to my story, adding as an aside: Never stop writing, one day you’ll know why. Write anything, a list, a letter, an essay, a page in a diary, but make sure you write something every single day.

I did. All through my professional life before I got married, I kept dabbling at writing, and yes, I wrote something every day.

Once I was married, my husband kept at me– you should write, he said. You wrote me such beautiful mails. He ferried me to and from classes and writers’ meets and workshops, and here I am today, scribbling away, publishing a few, finally able to call myself a writer.

To me, the memory of that helicopter ride I told my parents is vivid, real (that is how reliable our childhood memories are!). Who knows, perhaps I did not make it up, and helicopters actually landed in our obscure town of hinterland India. Whatever it was, a dream, a story, my imagination, the origins of my writing lie somewhere there.

I can now lie and make up stories on a daily basis, and even be proud of it!

How did you begin your journey as a writer?

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !


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  1. mish

    What a wonderful beginning, Damyanti… in your case, sounds like the "writing has been on the wall" from the age of 6!
    Thanks for this inspiring post!

  2. Rachel Morgan

    It is awesome that you can now "lie and make up stories on a daily basis" and be proud of it 🙂 I always thought I would write a book One Day in the very distant future, but when I was 23 I discovered YA paranormal fiction and decided I wanted to write it Now. So that's when I seriously started writing…

  3. Stina Lindenblatt

    I hate it when Blogger unschedules my posts!

    I love how your father and husband have encouraged your writing. I'm a lousy liar (according to my husband). Fortunately I have a vivid imagination too. 😀

  4. Li

    Great story 🙂 It's true, memories aren't the most reliable things, and so we each have the opportunity to write and re-write the stories of our lives. I think in some cases that it becomes a means of survival, especially in cases of trauma. In other cases, it's a way to weave threads of other people's lives and memories into our own.

  5. Stuart Nager

    LOVE that helicopter story!! Imagination is the best thing to support in a kid, imo. Thanks for the great origin Damyanti.

    I'm #132 on the Blogfest scale.

  6. Annalisa Crawford

    My son is just like that, he tells stories with such conviction even I believe him, although I know he's telling tall tales. A classic time was when he went to his grandparents and told them his dad was rushed to hospital in an ambulance! His dad was happily playing on the Playstation.

  7. Kyra Lennon

    It's funny how we remember things from childhood so clearly, even though they might just have been figments of our imagination. Lovely origins story, thanks for sharing!

  8. Creepy Query Girl

    that is so funny! Maybe there were helicopters or maybe your imagination was so vivid, it convinced you they really came. Such a cute story! Thanks for sharing your origins!