Thursday, March 12, 2009
I have been asked many times why I wanted to write, and my answer to that question was always the same:
"Because I love to!"
Ever since I was a little girl, I have written stories, skits, and plays, and sometimes I just kept them to myself. The joy was in the writing, not the sharing. I watched my brother, John, who was eight years older than myself, doing much these same things, but he was actually writing and illustrating real stories, and he would show his stories to the family and his friends at school, to rave review. I looked up to him and decided that I wanted to become what he was going to become: a writer. Neither of our plans worked out quite the way we had planned.
All the sudden, my life was put on hold. My sister, Carol, then age 16, had to have major back surgery for scoliosis. Back in those days, that kind of surgery was very much cutting-edge and experimental. She would later have to have her back re-broken and corrective surgery would have to be done to fix an error in procedure that they had not anticipated when they initially performed the first surgery. Poor Carol--and I truly mean that! Sande, my twin sister, and I were recruited as her nurses for the duration and we helped Mom while Carol attended school via intercom, as she lie in a special hospital bed, in a full-body cast for almost an entire year. That's when I stopped writing. At age 12, I didn't have the time or the energy to write. Don't get me wrong: we may have been cooped up, helping out, but we loved it!
Our Dad had called a family meeting before the surgery and talked to all of us (John was in the Army by then). He explained that we needed to pull together as a family, and work together, plus he said that he needed us! Those magic words: "he needed us!" We jumped at the chance to show him we could be good helpers--and we were!
I'm ashamed to say that I let that detour take me pretty much off the path of my "dream to write" for over forty years! I kept trying to get back to it, but "life" kept getting in the way. Don't let that happen to you! I have regretted it for years. It's like wasting years of your life, when you could have been about the business of working on your "dream!"
If you are serious about writing, then stick to your guns! Faithfully set aside time every day for your writing; read what you can to help you learn more about your craft; find a quiet place in your home to call your own, where you can write without distraction; and make a commitment to you dream. It won't be easy and it's not going to be all fortune and fame--it's going to be hard work, but it will be worth it!
Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.