For me it was very recently. I believe I was 46. Well, some of us are late bloomers!
I'm another late starter, although I've done some writing for a couple of association periodicals (NERA and DOGA) connected with railway history and model-making. I had a bash at writing in my twenties, but that was a drag - no laptops then! - doing a finished ms involved having to pull out sheets of paper from a typewriter and start again. You could only do so much correcting, after which it looked like cart-tracks.
Got to make up for lost time!
8th grade, was a homework project that got published in a National book.
I wrote a short rhyming play when I was ten, and won some newspaper prize for something or other to do with writing (can't remember the details), when I was eleven. At boarding school I used to write thirteen-page letters, and always had pen friends when I was older, writing two or three ten to thirteen page letters a week.As a law student, I wrote for the student law magazine, and was "spotted" by a national law journal, who wanted to employ me, but I didn't accept, as I knew that would end my studies and that I wouldn't continue with my law degree.
I don't know what is considered to be constructive, but around 10 I would write letters to my parents when I felt like they didn't understand how I was feeling. It was a way for me to express myself without them interrupting me and not being able to even say what I needed to say. My sister and I ended up terming these "bomb letters." These letters were constructive for me.
I was around 9 when I started writing constructively. In my tests also I usually got over 18 out of 20. I think its very important to write, as it helps me to clear my mind of all thoughts- good and bad- and also think creatively.
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