Taylor Swift has always been a writer, and this talent combined with her musical know-how has transformed the lovely songstress into one of the most popular artists today. Her catchy country-pop songs about heartache and growing into your own have inspired fans of all ages, but what was she doing before she was a superstar selling out arenas?

Swift was born in Reading, Penn., on Dec. 13, 1989. She grew up on a Christmas tree farm with her mother, Andrea (a homemaker), her father, Scott (a stockbroker), and her younger brother, Austin. Swift's creative nature was apparent from an early age, as she won a national poetry contest in the 4th grade for a poem entitled 'Monsters in My Closet.'

When she was 10 years old, a computer repairman taught Swift three chords on the acoustic guitar and she never looked back. While she wasn't penning her own novels (12-year-old Swift dedicated an entire summer to writing her own book), the 'Sparks Fly' hitmaker was busy writing her own songs and perfecting her music skills by performing at local events. Swift was often bullied in school, so she used her music as an emotional outlet, as well.

When she 14, Swift's family relocated to Nashville with the hopes of landing little Taylor a record deal. After turning down a less-than-stellar offer from RCA Records and becoming one of the youngest songwriters in Music City, U.S.A., Swift eventually signed with Big Machine Records. She released her debut single 'Tim McGraw' in 2006 and quickly skyrocketed into the pop superstar stratosphere. Now, she's expanded her empire into the beauty realm, becoming a spokeswoman for Cover Girl and launching her own perfume, as well as dipping her toe into the acting pool with roles in 'The Lorax' and 'Valentine's Day.'

Watch 11-Year-Old Taylor Swift Sing the National Anthem