I was in the 5th grade and won an award for an essay competition. I got a weekend in Denver, got to attend a fancy dinner, and had my essay read to the room. I was hooked from that point on. Not only for the notoriety, but that my words could move people, my words could affect the way others thought or acted. I like the idea that putting words together can mean nothing, or everything depending on what words you chose.
I've written consistently since then, my views have changed about the world, but not about my passion for the written word.