Sundry Posts

Necessary Sparks

11174516_10208812807575507_8059694360850354464_oWhy I Write

I’ve been thinking a bit about sparks lately. Sparks that light fires.

When I first met my husband, one of the first things he taught me was how to build a fire.

Now, I was a Girl Scout and had been a camper for my whole life; I knew how to start a fire. Hubby showed me a better way.

Fast and easy with the right pieces of dry wood were all it took to get me warm. Being warm was and is important to me. A spark was what it took to get the flame started.

Sparks come in other forms too. Just the right spark and you can move mountains.

What do sparks have to do with writing?

When I was six-years-old, my 1st-grade teacher lit a spark in me to write a book.

I’d always read. In fact, I don’t remember not reading. My mother tells me I learned by watching Sesame Street. The only thing I knew was I loved books and stories especially because I could go to the bookshelf and read the book I chose.

In first grade, my teacher said we were going to write a book. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to take it home and show my mom.

Imagine my shock and disappointment when I discovered our class was making one book, which my teacher would keep, and I would only be writing one page. My thoughts were that she would be teaching us how to write a book. I was crushed.

However, this created a spark within me to write a book. Eventually, this spark turned into a goal to have a book on the New York Best Sellers list became a life long dream.

The problem with sparks is if they aren’t given the right fuel, they often smolder or even go out. I spent nearly the next 40 years attempting to find the right combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen to fan that spark into a flame.

To this day, I don’t know what turned my smoldering spark into a flame. Most likely it was a combination of things: timing, along with a willingness to begin, probably had a lot to do with it. The right resource coming at just the right time also helped.

Why do I write?

Simply put, I write because I can’t not write. Writing has become like breathing. This need to write has sustained me through difficult times. I have rejoiced when an idea comes together and works.I have written through happiness and grief, frustration and all those moments in between.

I’ve met new people through writing. This community grows each year, and I’ve learned to create stories that move the human heart. And, I’ve realized there is still so much to learn.

Every day I am grateful for writing. I haven’t yet reached my dream of publishing a novel, but that is on my horizon.

The spark that began when I was six continues to this day. At times, the flame is high, and the words tumble out of me. Other times, the fire is low and in need of fuel. The fire is always burning.

Why do you write?

Fan the flames of your writing at DIY MFA.


  • Joanne

    Thanks for that closing question! I was surprised when I did not have a ready answer to shout out quickly. I will ponder that question, perhaps for days to come, but I sense it is a really important question for me. Soon, I hope, maybe I can share my answer to that question.

  • Mom

    I write because it releases my thoughts to paper and off my chest! It’s a mental thing.
    An FYI: You actually wrote your first book while you were in kindergarten! Words were spelled the way they sound…it was about Valentine’s day! I’m sorry it was lost during one of our moves, but I still remember it, in my heart and mind. I do have the Mother’s day card you wrote!