For better or worse, I am a contrary person.
Throughout my childhood, various people encouraged me about my writing, mostly my pops and teachers. Because of that, I always knew I was a pretty good writer, but it never occurred to me that I ought to pursue it in anyway.
But then, sometime in junior high, I read a book (no, I won't name it, but yes, I can remember which one it is) and thought -- I can do better than this.
And for the first time, it occurred to me that I should think about trying to be a serious writer.