One of the publishing houses I follow on Twitter asked a very interesting question. Name the first book that got you into reading? (I’m paraphrasing of course). I thought about it and frowned, thinking – whoo, it’s been so long there is no possible way I could remember. However, I couldn’t resist the urge to respond. What came to mind at the time – The Diary of Anne Frank. In this post, I’d like to discuss writing, but I cannot do that without talking about the foundation – reading. I know that I began reading very early, although, again it has become somewhat fuzzy, and many books did come along before that specific one. What I can honestly recall takes me back to the last half of the second grade. Now, I said all of that to put your brain into thought mode, and ask when you knew you wanted to write?
I think the desire probably comes at an early age, even if it doesn’t reveal itself. Doesn’t the want come about after hours and hours of reading – one by one, hand in hand, so to speak? Has anyone ever stopped to think about the process of reading? I mean, as much as I love children, I have to reflect on my teachers. I think about the time and energy they put into their craft. What I’m saying is, although I have a great love for children it takes a special person to develop the ability or the desire to teach. With that being said, I had journalism classes as early as my Sophomore year in high school, but I know I began to play around with the art of writing way before. Very early on I composed poems in the dark – I should say, behind closed doors. Together with the loads of books being read, stacks of tablets existed as well. Unfortunately, as I moved a couple of times as a child most of those early writings were lost or destroyed.
I know somewhere along the way, I have said this before, but I think all writers have stories clanging around in their heads. With me, even though I dabbled all along, it didn’t really catch hold until later in life. In 1999 I watched a Saturday night premier movie on Home Box Office, which will remain nameless. I said to my husband, “I have a story in me that’s just as good as that, if not better.” At that instant I knew I had been playing with the desire, and procrastinating in getting started long enough. The time had come for me to dig my determination out of the basement, dust it off, polish it to a high sheen, and hang it someplace where the shine would blind me each time I walked by. But, as I said, I knew way before then that I wanted to write. I’m even going to say, the desire struck me somewhere in my teenage years. I don’t think reading or writing can ever be taken nonchalantly or for granted. I’d like to bring to remembrance the bumper sticker that reads, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” Now, share with me when the aspiration hit you to become an author?
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