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January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?
To be honest, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t read, and I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. This is something that feels like it was always a part of me, and I do believe that storytelling is an inborn trait, not just for me, but for humanity as a whole.
The question I think is more relevant is… why didn’t I stop?
There are plenty of kids out there who tell stories, who want to be writers when they grow up.
Most of them turn out to be teachers and lawyers and chiropractors. Accountants, maybe, or engineers. They wind up doing practical things for practical reasons.
And then, there’s us.
We’re the leftovers. The ones who didn’t give up on what we really wanted to do.
The ones who didn’t exchange dreams of being rodeo clowns and astronauts and rock stars for paying the bills and keeping our noses clean.
I’m not sure it was any kind of warm-hearted encouragement that did it. I don’t remember anyone telling me that I could be anything I wanted when I grew up, and actually meaning anything I wanted.
I don’t remember anything resembling a childhood mentor among my teachers, or even a sincere cheerleader in my family. There wasn’t one.
No. I was definitely supposed to move on, and do sensible things by now. Things that go in a Christmas newsletter, and have a definite finish-by date.
Be anything I want?
No. That was always shorthand for “You have the brains to choose from among the following approved careers:” It definitely didn’t mean I should be a poet, or a writer, or a cage dancer. Those are just hobbies.
I don’t know why I didn’t leave writing behind, like so many of the talented people who were talked into sensible careers, and shrugging away the “what ifs” and “if only’s”.
Maybe I just needed it, more.
Well. Now, wasn’t that a ray of sunshine? I think somebody had better jump in here and cheer me up, now that I’ve pushed myself down in the dumps. Does anyone have a kitten? Or a puppy? Or a particularly cute mole rat? Tell me in the comments.