I have been writing since I was a child. My fourth grade teacher had an assignment for us that she gave us titles and we had to write a short story. Mine was “When Seconds Count”. She told me years later that she kept that story an example for her students. She was my favorite teacher, for many reasons, but most of all, for believing in me. I was bullied a lot in elementary school and reading books and writing was my escape. Looking back though, I am glad that I experienced it. I don’t think my passion for writing and reading would be a strong without those experiences. But, I am not saying I loved it. I hated every single minute of it. I took the hurt and pain and put it in my writing. Again, cheap therapy. LOL
In ninth grade, I started a journal with quotes, song lyrics, and poems that I loved. Some I also wrote, but mostly from others. At almost 42, I have four books filled. The first song I wrote the lyrics to was Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” I taped it off the radio and replayed it countless times until I believed I got the lyrics correct. I think I misquoted one line from the whole song. Not bad.
Also, in ninth grade, I discovered Tori Amos. Her song writing spoke to me and still does to this day. I can pick out her songs for so many of my major life events. “Silence All These Years” was the first song I heard by her on the radio. “Crucify” is a song that has changed meaning for me over the years. ‘….looking for a savior underneath these dirty sheets..’ was my anthem when I was 18 until 21.
My taste in music is all over the place. I love opera, classical, new age, goth, alternative, country, rock, blue grass, folk, metal and everything in between. I go for song writers. I read the lyrics to songs constantly. I have AZ Lyrics saved in Google.
Why didn’t I become a song writer? I can’t sing to save myself…oh, that doesn’t stop me from doing karaoke, to the regret of my husband (and anyone listening). My Mom could sing. And write. I got the writing gene. And, I cannot play an instrument. But, I am a supporter and cheerleader to all those that can do those things. I admire them and envy them.
I used to write in my diary daily in high school. I took time to find the perfect journal. I wrote pages upon pages when I was dealing with something. I still prefer to write out my feelings, it helps me find focus and it gives me a chance to see the problems. I have tried to write again in a diary, but it’s not the same anymore. I have thought about the reason why, and may be it’s because the struggles are different. I’m not trying to figure out if someone likes me or why this person did this to me. Or complain about how awful my parents are being because I can’t go out Friday night (ha!). The issues I face now are deeper, more serious, more emotional. I kept one while I was pregnant with my daughter and for the first few years after she was born. I add to it when big life events happen for her.
I wrote a lot of poetry during my high school years. I wasn’t a ‘rhyming’ poet, I loved free style poems. My love of poetry comes directly from my Mom. I fell in love with Shakespeare because of her. My favorite sonnet is 116. My Dad was reader. Westerns, especially from Louis L’Amour, who was his favorite author. I was surrounded by readers during my childhood and I am forever thankful for that gift.
I was asked once why I am writing a book. The only answer I could give that was honest was ‘the story was clawing itself out of my brain one way or another; I didn’t have a choice’. There are days where I obsess over it. Writing notes on scraps of paper. Typing for hours at a time at midnight. I have a physical need to write this story. I ache when I cannot write. Another question I am asked is ‘When do you find time to write?’ Simple. I make time. Sometimes, I don’t write for weeks at a time; others, I write daily. Mostly, though, it’s a little there, a little here. I have been ridiculed for writing. Some saying it’s a waste of time or that I am not a good wife or mother because I am writing and not working. I am working now, since March. Before that, I was a stay at home mom, and anyone who is one or was one can attest, it’s work It’s freaking hard work, with no days off. Writing was my connection to the part of myself that isn’t just a mom or a wife or woman, but a human who has a story to tell.