Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First steps

The ever so sweet, kind, and Lovely Melanie over at Livin' the Dream is featuring me on her blog for an entire week. A few days ago she asked me some questions so she could highlight me. One of the questions was "What made you want to write a book?"

It's funny because on of my very first posts was on that subject, but it made me realize only close friends and family saw it, and they know me pretty well. I read it again this morning and had an overwhelming desire to share with you. So here goes - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.

Every child is asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Which really means, how on earth are you going to make a living when you have to pay the bills?

My answers as a child were always varied - astronaut, singer, teacher, actress, scientist, chef, artist, archeologist, etc. Even though, to tell you the truth, my heart wasn't really into any of those things.

The only thing I knew for certain, was that I wanted to be was a mother. It's interesting to think back to what my view of motherhood was then. I thought that when I was a mother I would let my kids eat ice cream whenever they felt like it. I would never make them do any chores, and they would get an allowance just because.

Ha! What a dream world that was. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked - my point here is that I never imagined I would enjoy spending parts of my day writing.

When I was sophomore in high school I had never picked up a book just to enjoy reading. I only read because it was required for an assignment; or because a friend wanted me to read with them. It wasn't until a friend in my math class started ignoring me so she could read Harry Potter (thanks Sarah) that I even considered reading as an enjoyable activity.

Of course, once I was hooked, I had to find out what other books where out there. But, I still didn't enjoy writing. My family often made fun of me because I'm a horrible speller. I've improved over the years, but I used to think writing was about spelling alone. It wasn't until I had an incredible English teacher my senior year that I saw writing in my future.

The first day of class he made us all write a few paragraphs about our writing style. I, thinking the paper would be for his eyes only, wrote about my lack of confidence in my skills.

To my surprise, he took the papers, got up in front of the class, and read all of our little notes to everyone. I was mortified. Even though he didn't name names, except in joking, I was so embarrassed to have what I wrote read aloud.

The teacher had poked fun at some of the kids spelling and grammatical errors, and I was terrified about what he would say to my own humble admission.

I knew the moment he started my paper. Instantly my face turned red and I cowered in my seat. But this teacher read my note tenderly, and never even looked my way. His voice conveyed that he believed I was more capable than I gave myself credit for.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Little did I know that he had set a pattern from that day. A pattern that he would keep the whole semester. He made me feel as if I had something worth writing.

That effected me so deeply that here I am today, attempting to write a book. It has become, to me, something that helps me stay grounded. It release the stresses of my day and brings me full circle to remember who I am.

I'm sharing this with you mostly to remind myself. Sometimes we need to go back and look at those places in our lives where we felt a stirring inside us. Then the question has to be asked, do I feel that now? If not, go back to your roots, find what makes you happy and live it.

It shouldn't be superficial or material, that kind of happiness is temporary. It should be something that you enjoyed living every day. I'm not saying you should quit your job, or travel the world to find yourself. All I'm saying is that everyone should take a few moments in their day and figure out what makes them tick.

I don't mean to say that I have all the answers, because I certainly don't. All I am saying is that writing makes me happy. I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to be a mom and to write, neither of which are perfect, but which ultimately bring me moments of joy.
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