I’ve always loved to write. Growing up it was a way for me to create something new and different. My sister is an artist – as in she draws, paints, and has a degree in sculpture. Her talents always made me feel like I wasn’t creative. I was so impressed by her and thought I wasn’t any good.
I also found that math and science were easy for me. With those subjects, you either know it or you don’t. There isn’t any room for interpretation so if you’re good at it, you don’t have to try so hard. With English, Language Arts today, there was more opinion than I could ever handle. My teachers made me feel like I was wrong. We would try to understand Shakespeare and I was wrong, every time. We would read historical novels and I just didn’t get it. I ended up hating English.
I don’t remember the class now, but I remember my English 102 class my freshman year of college. I had a grad student as the teacher and she was awesome. She really let us figure things out and let us interpret things our own way. I found my love for English again.
But it was still another fifteen years before I decided to become a writer. Why now?
1. I’ve always loved to read. It sound cliche a little bit, but you do what you know. Well, I know books. I read about one book each week on average. I’ve read a book in a day before. I devour books, and it made sense that I would write them.
2. I love getting lost in another world, or another life. When I write, I lose myself in the characters I’m creating. My first book, still unpublished, the main character is someone I relate to. She’s similar to me in a lot of ways, so it was easy to relate to her. The books I’ve written since, the women and men are very different from me. But each character has a little piece of the person I wish I was, or the person I am. And it’s exciting to be that person, just for a little while.
3. A book can change your world. I remember reading Ordinary People when I was in high school. I don’t remember much about it now (I really need to re-read it one day) but I know it had an impact on me. I told my friend, later my boyfriend, about the book. We were talking about what we were reading and his English class was reading something else. He read it a few weeks later. He hugged me and thanked me for telling him about the book. He said it truly changed his life. That’s what I hope to create one day.
4. It comes easy to me. That sounds conceited or crazy, maybe, but it really does. At first I fought it, but after I started, I couldn’t stop writing. I can finish a book in about three weeks, before editing. That sounds like a long time, but there are a lot of authors out there who write one book each year. They are immensely talented, but they get tied up in a lot of other things. For me, I just get to write, and the words flow.
5. I’m living my dream. When I was in elementary school, I wrote a short story, a few of them. I remember the thrill I got from writing. From sharing my ideas and being able to talk about what was interesting to me. And I never let go of that. I pushed English to the side as I realized I was good at math and science, but writing was always something I came back to. It’s my dream to be a writer, and I know this is what I’m meant to do.
6. I listened to my friends. There were many times that I was told, “you should write a book.” Most of the time it was about advice I had given on different subjects, but the intention was there. I started to let myself think I could write a book, and when I finally jumped in, I loved it.
7. Writing is a part of me. I’ve always been a good writer. I edit everything I read as I read it (not to say I don’t make mistakes too) and I think about how I would have said something. I can’t write a short e-mail (one reason I suck at Twitter) and I will always give you more information than you need. But writing is right for me. I haven’t always kept a journal, but I have always written. Sometimes it’s e-mails to friends, sometimes it’s a way to get out my thoughts and ideas, and sometimes it’s just creativity flowing. But writing is in me.
Writing is perfect for me. It’s something that makes me feel like I’m whole. My last career left me feeling empty, so I know this is the right fit for my life.
So what about you? Leave a comment below and tell me why you do what you do. If you’re not doing what you love, tell me what you would love to do and why!