Beginnings are not always accurate predictors of what’s to come. I started writing little stories when I was around 5 years old. Reading and writing were very important skills to my parents, so they made sure that I learned to read at a very early age. Spelling was also a hot button for my father, and he would give me daily tasks of reading a page in the dictionary, picking one word and memorizing the spelling and meaning of the word. He would check on my progress when he came home at night.
Unfortunately for my teachers, attractive handwriting was not as important to my folks. I remember having to practice my letters over and over again. Especially Cursive. I loved the look of Cursive writing, but doing it perfectly eluded me for a long time. Maybe part of that was because my idea of perfect was not the same as my teachers. I remember one year, probably around 5th grade, there was a girl named Karen in my class. She was left handed, and I thought the way she wrote was so much more beautiful than the way I had to write. She added swirls and circles rather than dots for her “I’s”. I figured out how to write in a backhanded fashion, and practiced endlessly. Far more diligently than I ever worked on my own handwriting, which turned out to be unfortunate. I don’t know if the teacher gave Karen a good grade, but by the time she had finished marking me off for backhanded slant, swirls, curls and little circles, my grade showed me that there was a time and place for creativity, and it wasn’t in her class!
Once I had mastered the mechanics of writing letters, I found that I really loved writing down things that I saw and felt. I had journals and diaries, like most adolescent girls. I always did well in English classes when it came to writing. (Unfortunately, grammar was another story.) My love of writing stayed with me and supported me throughout my entire high school journey, despite the usual distractions and problems all kids that age face.
It has been many years since I was that young or that trusting. My ability to write has helped me in all the jobs I have had. I can write about other people’s experiences easily but somewhere along the way I found I had walled up my ability to write about things in my heart. I spent years supporting myself by writing in a corporate environment. Sadly, writing became a tool, not a treat. The magic was gone.
Thankfully, no matter how old you get, some things just can’t be denied forever. The growth of the Internet has given me the ability to open up again and write about things that I care about. It has proven to be such a boon, in my opinion, for so many of us that were stuck on the inside looking out. But like any muscle, it needs to be exercised regularly. Write every day – even if it’s only a paragraph or two. So many of my friends kept telling me to do this, and I didn’t listen. I’m blessed that every day is another chance at changing the rest of your life. That means I can start over, start writing, and grow!
Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Blair Schweiger’s blog at: https://blairnecessities.wordpress.com/