Droste-Hülshoff began writing early in her life, in the main, little occasional poems and verses for the family album, at first still completely within the context of family life in the Biedermeier period. Her poetic talent was quickly recognised by relatives. Even in 1804, her uncle, Werner von Haxthausen, described the - at the time - seven-year old as a "second Sappho". Also, her talent was already being discussed in Münster in the year of 1809, to the extent that the publisher, Friedrich Raßmann requested contributions to his poetic booklet, "Mimigardia", from Droste-Hülshoff who was not yet twelve years old; however, the family did not allow this.
In Münster, Anton Matthias Sprickmann, a poet and lawyer almost fifty years older, emerged as her first literary supporter and person to whom she could turn - someone whose interest for her literary work Droste-Hülshoff could claim. She laid before him her early projects - the tragedy Bertha, or the Alps (1813/14) the epic poem Walther (1818) and the fragment of the novel Ledwina (1819) - in detail and informed him about the progress of her work. It was also he to whom, as 19 year old in 1816, she sent a first noteworthy poem with the title Unruhe, which depicts a biographical fundamental conflict, namely that between self assertion and conformity.
In her youth, Droste-Hülshoff seldom had the opportunity to escape the confines of the parental home. Apart from minor local excursions, only occasional visits to Bökendorf near Brakel, provided a change. Here in the Paderborn countryside relatives of her mother, the von Haxthausen family, had their seat. At chateau Bökendorf the "Bökendorf Fairytale Circle" would gather around the brothers August and Werner von Haxthausen and Wilhelm Grimm. During this period Droste-Hülshoff also took a part in the collection of sagas, fairytales and literary folklore.