I started writing in the '90s, so I was free to just have an eccentric career and not conform to some idea of what a black writer has to do. I didn't have the burden of representation.
I started writing it six and a half years ago, so the landscape has changed a lot in that time.
I started writing it the day after Sept. 11. I was living in New York City. We didn't have any phone service and we didn't have any mail. Like a lot of writers do, I started to write in a voice that I missed.
I started writing it, because it was seven years ago. But yes, that is the genesis of why I started writing.
I started writing juvenile novels around 1985. I never really thought of it as a career, but more as a way to make a living.
I started writing letters home to my mother, saying that I wanted to come home, grandma won't let me sing.
I started writing little short stories and poems as soon as I learned to read and write. I think I was six years old. And then when I got to be eleven, twelve, and into my teens, I was just listening to records all the time, and I got a guitar. I started to take guitar lessons when I was twelve.
I started writing lyrics out of desperation. I was broke and wondering where my next job, my next meal was coming from, although I had had several successful revue songs on Broadway.
I started writing more with my voice in mind.
I started writing morning pages just to keep my hand in, you know, just because I was a writer and I didn't know what else to do but write. And then one day as I was writing, a character came sort of strolling in and I realized, Oh my God, I don't have to be just a screenwriter. I can write novels.
I started writing movie scripts. They excited me a lot, but I didn't like them when they were finished because they were simple copies of the films I saw in childhood.
I started writing music in a French way: more focused on lyrics than melody.
I started writing music in a season of my life where people were telling me I wasn't defined by mistakes, and God really loved me and was fighting for me, and there was a journey to be had with that. And I don't know of a more important message.
I started writing music when I was 15 in my bedroom, and I'd post them on MySpace, and from there it shifted to doing covers on YouTube and building my Twitter.
I started writing music when I was around twelve. My current record company saw a video of me performing at my school's talent show.
I started writing my own plays, and I would sell out, but after everything was said and done, I'd break even. That's being successful.
I started writing my own songs from the time I was a little kid. I would write my own lyrics to other people's songs that I heard on the radio and take whatever song and make it about fairies and angels -- whatever little girls sing about.
I started writing my own things when I was about 8. I used to try to bully my friends into imitating the Spice Girls on the playground. Then I realized, Oh god, my career's going nowhere, so I looked in the Yellow Pages and phoned up the first cheap studio that I found and started recording.
I started writing novels by not thinking about actually writing a whole novel -- that felt altogether too daunting. I thought out a rough idea, then wrote chapter by chapter, and then by the time I'd hit 40,000 words, it was a challenge just to see if I could get to the end.