why?

Scheherazade, Virginia Frances Sterrett

Why do I write? Reading led me into writing. Science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, horror, thrillers, fairytales, mythologies, comic books–I read them all growing up, was always to be found tucked in a corner with a book in my hand, glasses sliding down my nose,  or wandering the stacks of the school library, looking for something new to read.

Reading books sparked my imagination. I’d been imagining stuff since I was a child, even before I learned to read, but of course, had no idea about writing or what it all meant. Anyway, sentences would scroll through my mind, I’d hear dialogue, I’d see a place that didn’t exist, I’d get an idea about something,  and without even thinking much about it, I started writing it all down, making up stories. The writing bug bit  me with all the force of a Rottweiler. Its jaws have been locked around my imagination every since. Sometimes, though, I wonder. I don’t want to spend my life only writing one book–I want to write several books, more books!

I cannot imagine not writing. I remember the first time I discovered The Writer magazine in the school library. Wow! Writers writing about writing. I was so excited my brain was hot. It’s a weird thing to admit this but I honestly didn’t connect the names I saw on book covers with the fact that someone wrote the book–those people didn’t seem real to me. Yeah somebody wrote the book, but I didn’t know any writers or anybody who wanted to be a writer and the thought of actually writing a book, actually creating a work of fiction–well that was done by other lucky people, not somebody like me. My thought was I’d have to get hired by a publishing company; I thought writers were employees who worked for publishing companies. I should be so lucky.

Reading The Writer made me realize writers were people who imagined and wrote the books I loved to read, and they got paid for it! Another wow! No really. (I was a teen–what can I say?)  I decided I was going to be a writer. Of course I didn’t tell anybody–contempt makes me shrivel.

And here I be, all these many years later, still making up stories.

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