I am participating in a writing contest for Positive Writer.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t enchanted by stories.
I read early, when I was 3, most likely going on 4. Books and stories have been a part of my life since before I can remember.
When I was six I wanted to write books. I had no idea what that meant or how to do it. In first grade, one of our assignments was to make a book. Now, I thought that it meant that I would be able to write one and take it home. Can you imagine my surprise when what my teacher intended was that each of us would make a page in a book that she kept? I was so disappointed.
From that point on, writing was big in my world. I liked diaries but didn’t keep them. I kept starting them and being a child in transition, I didn’t keep up with them. The thought was always there.
Getting my first official journal at age 13 was the best thing. I picked it out myself. Silk and turquoise blue with birds, I had that thing for years. Sadly it has been lost to time now. But it did do one thing: I’ve kept a journal since. I haven’t always written but I’ve had a journal, just in case I wanted to.
Writing has been the theme of my life.
Journals helped me to see what I needed to for my life. I still have most of them.
Writing stories was a different beast all together. I don’t remember ever writing stories as an assignment in school. I wonder if that happens now. Would things be different for me today if creative writing had been a part of my education?
The first time I tried to write a story that I remember was for a special assignment. It was still in school but it was for a story to read to the first graders. I think I was in 5th grade. I believe it was a colossal failure. I had no idea what I was doing.
I still have another that I wrote that same year. I was a superhero. Can you imagine?
I stopped the stories for a few years but not the desire. I have several I wrote in high school. Better but still very rough. My friends enjoyed reading them though. It was a mostly positive experience.
I believe it was during this time that I began to hear what many early writers hear. “Writing is a good hobby, but you still have to support yourself.” It was discouraging to say the least.
Over the next 20 years I wrote journals on and off always struggling to get a story out. I took classes on occasion but never made the leap to writing seriously.
An area where writing has served me is when I was pursuing higher education. I didn’t begin college until I was nearly 30, which is a whole other story. I discovered that I could convey my thoughts well enough to get good grades. For those years, nearly 9 of them, my writing consisted of nonfiction, writing assignments. I never suffered the anxiety of writing that other students reported. I, at times, had difficulty starting but once I did, things went well. As I look back, I didn’t feel like a writer even though I was.
During college, I took one creative writing class. It was my first time experiencing so many things. Reading my work out loud and getting feedback was a nail-biting challenge. I even wrote and submitted a cringeworthy story to the school writing journal and it was accepted. I’m still not sure how that happened.
Writing has been a theme of my life. No matter what else I’ve done, writing has been there. I’ve used journals to deal with my struggles. The dream of writing a novel that ended up on the New York Best Sellers list has been the one constant in my life.
So here I am, writing still. Things are different now, I must say. I’ve achieved so many of my other dreams, this appears to be the oldest and yet, most unachieved dream I have. It is time. I have begun.
It has taken me so long to get here, I still consider myself a beginning writer. However, I recently read a statement that said something like, if you have 50 blog posts then you aren’t a beginning writer any more.
This is number 47.
I guess it is time I changed my thinking. Again.