I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
It may seem like something that a lot of people say when they reach a certain point: “I’ve always wanted to be a writer“. There’s lots of variations on this sentence, and some days I feel like I’ve heard everyone say it in some form.
For me, that statement is the unwavering truth. I have always wanted, more than anything else, to be a writer. To this day, I am horrible at doing multiplication. I can pinpoint exactly why that is. I have vivid memories of working hard on a book I was writing and illustrating, instead of paying attention when my teacher happened to be teaching that subject in elementary school.
The book was about baseball and some schoolchildren who played on a team together. I wish I could find this “book” now, but it’s lost to my childhood, much as whatever math skills I may have developed are lost.
I recall a day in 4th grade when my best friend and I loaded our backpacks with Sweet Valley High books, carrying them to class with us. I opened up my bag and my teacher looked at us and said, “This isn’t a library! Put those away and leave them at home from now on.” Even then, I knew there was something fundamentally wrong with being reprimanded for bringing books to school.
I love books. The feel of them, the weight when I lift one, the smell of them. If I could someday have a book full of my words, arranged into sentences by me, my world would be complete. When I started college, I immediately declared my major as English. I was going to do it. I was.
Then, somewhere I got lost. I stopped trying. I changed my major. I found other things that I was going to dedicate myself to. Things that I could make a living from. Things more acceptable to society, whatever that may mean.
I moved recently and I went through a lot of boxes that were left untended. I was amazed by the amount of stories I found that I had written over the years. For years, I had been writing and storing my words away, forgetting them.
Reading over some of it, I was impressed. Admittedly, I was also embarrassed by a lot of it, because some of it was truly awful. There was something there, though. I hadn’t remembered writing some of it, and it was good. It was something I would have picked up, spent good money on, and read. I had written something enjoyable and entertaining! Imagine!
This got me thinking. Maybe all my searching over the years for my “thing” was just a long journey back to where I began. Maybe I was always meant to write. I’ve always been drawn to it, that is certain.
So I’m giving it a try. I’m taking courses to help me improve, and I’m trying to get my work out there. This blog is a part of that journey. I’ll be sharing stories with you, asking questions, and hopefully reading your stories, too.
I’m wondering at what point I will be satisfied that I am a writer. If I write each and every day, does that make me a writer, or do I need people to read my work to feel like a writer? These are things I want to find out.
This evening, I came across a story I started in 2008 and never finished. Here’s a part of it:
The twins were born on a beautiful afternoon in the fall. The nurse left the curtains open in the hospital room, the sun shining brightly on the legs of their mother. Their father would later remember the deep auburn color of the leaves on the tree outside the window. He would describe the color of those leaves in more detail than anything else he had experienced that day when he told the story of their birth.
The girl was born first, a dark head of perfect hair, deep blue eyes, tiny little fingernails and porcelain skin. Her father looked on in amazement. She was the love of his life. Then came the boy. He was born half an hour later, with splotchy skin, black eyes, no hair or fingernails. He was a normal baby, but after the perfection that was his older sister, his father barely glanced at him.
Their father cuddled the girl, humming softly. Their mother loved them both, respectively, but the boy held her heart. This possibly was caused by her husband never giving her a chance to hold her daughter outside of feeding time, but the cause is not the issue here.
The lines were drawn from day one. Girl belonged to father and boy belonged to mother. Mother and father didn’t even consider that, above this, more than anything, the twins belonged to each other.
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