Why Do I Write?

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It’s been said by so many that it’s cliche’. I write because I can’t not write. When circumstances prevent me from writing I literally feel like words are bottled up inside me, that I could explode any minute. In a good way of course!

One of my most poignant memories was the day my best friend Patty Ferguson went off to first grade and left me behind. I was a year younger than Patty and boy did I resent being left home with the “babies.” I sat down in the kitchen floor, by that old nicked bookcase that held our family’s books. I pulled down the big red Webster’s dictionary, opened it to a random page and ran my fingers across the black symbols, determined I would teach myself to read.

I strained my eyes but to no avail. No magic words jumped into my brain. That would have to wait a year, for my first grade teacher to tackle.

Third grade I had my first taste of public speaking in a speech I wrote myself. An impassioned plea to “save the wild horses” got a silver pin for my effort. Alas, years later no wild horses wrote to thank me for their deliverance.

Summers I hid out under the branches of a Forsythia bush at the corner of our house. I pulled an old bedspread under the fragrant yellow blooms, and that space became my personal hideaway to read. Black Beauty, Little Women, those were some of my favorites, but I read anything I could get my hands on.

High School I enjoyed the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck, but my writing went by the wayside. It was a casualty of homework and boys.

It wasn’t until the incessant prodding of my husband years later that I took my writing seriously. It had been too many years and I felt that I’d gotten rusty, that the magic was gone.

Imagine my surprise when I was picked to write as a Community Columnist for our local paper! Something happened that year, and the writer bottled up inside me emerged, unfurling my wrinkled wings like some Monarch Butterfly, wrapped too tightly for too long. It was a glorious flight.

And now fiction has become the wind beneath my wings. Each novel I work on changes me, grows me in ways I never anticipated. It’s a flight I never want to end.

And that my friends, is why I write.

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