When I was a kid, I fancied myself quite the budding writer. I had a notebook and a pen with me all the time; I even pretended that I was a journalist every time we went somewhere new or special. I read everything I could get my hands on, wrote as much as I could, and had lofty dreams of one day becoming a published author.
Mrs. Sawicki and Ms. Reed-Erickson, my first elementary school teachers, helped me feed that dream. My first story was a short memoir about a trip to Florida, cleverly entitled “The Florida and Camping Trip.” I didn’t write anything about our visit to Disney, but I did expound on road signs a bit (I was 6, don’t judge).
By the time I was done with third grade, I had written and “published” twelve short stories. I craved that time in school, creating a story, illustrating it, and putting it together between covered pieces of cereal boxes. My about the author always included how old my parents were; although I have no idea why I felt that was important.
I’ve got a stack of blank books, half filled with writing and partly filled with doodles, that takes up a good-sized box in my closet. There are tons of files on numerous computers, discs, and flash drives. And I’ve kept every paper, essay, and paper ever written for any English class I was ever in (with a BA in English, that’s a lot of papers).
I love the simple act of writing; the joining together of lines to form letters, letters to form words, and words to spin stories.
Somewhere along the way, I let my dream to be a writer fall by the wayside. Like so many others, I allowed myself to believe that it was supposed to be easier, or I wasn’t good enough, or I would never find an audience.
Every so often, I would start writing again: a short attempt at fiction, an essay about politics, a stab at poetry. Each time, I permitted life to get in the way, justifying my lack of writing by claiming that I was too busy with “everything else on my to do list.”
Then I remembered: Writers Write.