I didn’t choose to become a writer…
I didn’t choose to become a writer–I was born a writer, even though I didn’t write my first word in a novel until I was 40! You heard me right–40 years old, practically over the hill. But still I believe I was born to write. For two reasons.
The first is that I love books–always have and always will. The Orthodox Jews have a tradition that if they drop a book, they will pick it up and kiss it–in case the name of God is in that book. I have that same sort of reverence for most books. There may be a few that don’t deserve it, but I’m not here to talk about those.
Probably from kindergarten on, I love to read. Nothing was more exciting to me than the weekly trip to the library except maybe when I was allowed to buy a book from the Scholastic Reader. Then it was serious business. It was so hard to choose, but eventually I would. When my family would go on fishing or camping trips, I could be found sitting on a rock or in the car and reading. Yes, I read under the covers, in the dark, and in the car.
So my love of books is the first reason I believe I was born to become a writer but not the only one. Lots of people love books as much as I do and never become a writer. Though some of them probably would love to write, but don’t know it yet! Just like me.
The second reason is a bit stranger than the first. At least it might be for you, but it never seemed odd to me. It was simply a part of me. I always created stories even as a young child. Barbie and Ken had quite the life not to mention The Potato Family. But my imagination didn’t stop with my toys that I acted out the stories with. I called it daydreaming back then, but now I realize I was actually creating stories. My daydreaming didn’t stop as childhood ended and adulthood began.
I would daydream as I drove to work, when I was relaxing, or most any other time or place. Unfortunately, I was 40 before it occurred to me that my daydreams had a purpose. And that purpose was that they were the stories I should be writing down to create novels. My daydreams were the books I was supposed to write!
My first book took me almost a year to write. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a book because it seemed absurd that little old me could ever become a “real writer.” During that year I got bit my the writing bug. I fell in love with not only creating a story that only I could write, but with writing it in the best possible way. So if you ask me how I became a writer, I would tell you God created me to be a writer. I believe that all that reading and imagining were the first steps in me becoming a writer. I don’t think I chose to become a writer. Instead I was born a writer–it simply took me forty years to start putting my stories on paper or should I say on a computer!
I have a third reason but I’ll share that story in Part 4 of a Writer’s Life.
How about you? What were you born to do?
God Bless & Good Reading!