When I was 12 I sent a finished manuscript to a publisher. I did this in secret. My parents didn't know. Some time later I got a letter in the mail telling me that they couldn't accept any manuscripts from author's who weren't of age, but encouraged me to keep writing. I'm kind of sad that I didn't keep the letter - my very first from a publisher.
Between the ages of 13 and 17 I had my big surge of ideas. I have a big notebook where I tried to assemble all my ideas, but to this day I still find random scribbles in other notebooks of ideas I had. It's still those ideas that I refine into proper stories today. Most of the stories start in bullying, because that's the foundation I had while growing up, then there's a supernatural element that disrupts the every day way of things, the main character grows and is forced to face off against the evil that threatens both the everyday life and the supernatural plane. The main character is most oftenly an exaggerated aspect of myself. But in hindsight it's easier to see how the character would grow from the bullying today than when I was in the middle of it myself. That may be why I never managed to finish a manuscript properly, except that one time.
When I grew up I was told by my parents that it's very hard to make a living off of writing, and that you need to be very lucky. So I downgraded my writing from "future job" to "hobby" and started trying to find something else I wanted to do for a living. But this past year while I've been unemployed I've started seeing the potential in writing again. When things feel hopeless it's my writing that gives me hope again. Because sometimes it feels more probable that I'd be able to make a living from writing rather than find a proper job. So writing has once again become the thing I want to do and the thing I will continue to aspire to do for a living.
I have decided that 2014 will be the year. The year when I, for the first time as an adult, send a finished manuscript to publishers. I know the year is fast coming to an end, but so is my manuscript! All I have left now is getting to the final fight and tie up loose strings. It's time to wrap up the story, find my beta readers, get some constructive criticsm, edit and then send it off for reviews.
The amount of paper in my manuscript thus far.