Learning to Write
An Essayby Vikram Chandra
I came to computers while trying to run away from literature. I first published fiction—a plotty little sci-fi story heavily influenced by Isaac Asimov—when I was twelve, in a student-run magazine at my boarding school in India. Until then reading stories and telling them (mainly to myself) had been a reliable, profound pleasure and a desperately needed comfort. The shock of seeing my secret life made public, in print, thrilled into my awkward, nerdy soul. I was a stereotypically budding writer, thickly bespectacled, shy, bad at cricket, worse at field hockey. When fellow students—even some of the remote, godlike athletes who were the heroes of my school—stopped me in the corridors to talk about the story and praise it and ask for more, I knew I had found a way to be in the world, to be of it.