When I was young, say 3 or so, my Grandmother gave me the best gift that anyone has. In my 34 years on this Earth no gift has been greater or more important to me. My Grandmother taught me to read, and in turn write. She instilled in me a love of both. To this day I couldn’t be more thankful to her for that. It was from her that I learned my purpose in life. I knew that no matter what I did with my life, I would also be a writer. I may never be famous. I may never be able to buy her everything she ever wanted as a thanks, but I could still write and share with her my work when I was comfortable enough to share it with anyone. She was my first fan, and my first teacher. I will forever be in her debt for showing me the wonderful world of words.
There have been many people who have influenced my love of writing and reading since that time. School teachers who took interest in my love of books and would assign me extra reading or writing assignments to push me further. Sometimes they would just encourage me to submit my work for publication. As my family knows all too well, it didn’t always end up with the best outcome. (Think letter to the editor from 7th/8th grade.) No matter the outcome though, if it weren’t for these teachers encouraging me, I might have never made it through school with my love of books and writing still in tact. School can be hard for any child, but sometimes I wonder, from my experience, if it isn’t that much more difficult for creative children. The ones who love to read, write, draw, paint, build. They can really struggle through sitting down all day and being told they have to do one thing and one thing only. If you know a creative child, teen, or adult you must know how hard that is for them to do. So to these teachers, I am forever grateful for your guidance, kind words of encouragement, and tough love when it was required. I learned so much between extra assignments in middle school, to creative writing class, writing conferences, and just one on one critiques. You all helped me survive what was more than a difficult time for me. I am unsure if I would have ever graduated High School without you.
My Parents, though maybe not understanding what I wrote, still supported me no matter what. Did I need to be dropped off at school early on a Saturday to attend a conference? Sure, they did that. Writing was almost like playing a sport sometimes. I guess they just got lucky that it was only once or twice a year, instead of several days a week for months at a time over four years. (You’re welcome!)They also encouraged me to write, to read. They supported my addiction to paper. I guess as the Parents of a rebellious teen I’d support an addiction to books too, it could have been much worse. We fought, a lot, like most Parents and their Children, but no matter how much we did or didn’t fight with each other, they still supported this dream of mine. And that support was instrumental in me not giving up, even when things looked their darkest.
My Best Friends have been my rocks most of my life. The first when I was 13 or so and the second coming along around 17. I am lucky to have found the two of them. They were creative types like me, but not always in the same way. I could feed off their creativity and them off mine. They were support but in an unconventional way. I didn’t always need them to push me harder, instead I needed them to pull me out of my own darkness so I could focus. And that they did. My life would never have been the same without either of them being a part of it.
I’m sure there are so many others who supported me throughout the way, but these are the ones who are most important to me, and have always been at the back of my mind when I sit to write. I want to make sure when I write, that I’m doing something that would make them proud. I feel like these people helped me throughout my life to make sure that I’ve never given up on the dream of being a writer. Sure I’ve had periods of doubt, and even periods of years where I didn’t write at all. They were some of the worst years of my life and I’m glad they are over.
These people aren’t the reason I write, they are, however, the reasons I never gave up writing when I didn’t achieve my first goals (to be the youngest published novelist in the world), or when I didn’t achieve me second goals, third, fourth, and so on. They are the people who stood by me in my failures and told me how to use them to make my work better, to make my life better, and how to move forward with my dreams even when they didn’t go as planned. So no, they might not be the reason I write, but they are the reasons I’ve continued to write. That might be an even better thing to be.
The reason I write?
I don’t know if I could breathe if I were unable to write. I would be trapped in my mind with so many words to get out but no place to give them life. A life without writing, a life without reading, that is not a life I want to lead. I would be miserable and I’m already miserable enough (thanks Depression!). I write because I feel like if I don’t my fingers might fall off and my brain would turn to much out of not being used. My life couldn’t be my own without writing. Sure I can read and escape a bit, but without having my own writing in the mix I still have too much that needs to come out and be said.
Writing is what I’ve built my life around. I will probably continue to do it until the day I die. Published or not. Famous or not. I will keep going because that is who I am. It is who I want to be, and who I have always wanted to be.