Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections

This week the challenge was, “tell us how you fell in love with books and writing”

As for exactly when my love affair with books and writing started, I don’t remember.  My earliest memories have me snuggled up in the lap of whatever adult I could cajole into reading to me.  Thankfully, I was surrounded by them.  I was also the firstborn child and first grandchild, so yes, they were quite willing.

The first thing I remember reading myself were the old “Dick and Jane” primers.  One of my other early favorites was Amelia Bedelia which I loved to hear my granny read because she was very dramatic and made me feel like I knew the characters personally.  Curious George and the man with the yellow hat took me on many adventures and Dr Seuss always made me smile.

When my brother, my sister and I were still quite young, my mother made what, in my opinion, was a glorious decision.  She signed us up to receive Childcraft books!  Oh, the thrill!  They were to arrive monthly and at the end of our subscription, we would own a full set.  We already received Highlights magazine, so the trips to the post office were going to become twice as exciting.

As I grew, it was Charlotte’s Web, all the Judy Blume books, Little Women, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, then Anne of Green Gables, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  There was Watership Down, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Gulliver’s Travels and The Outsiders.  Although I wasn’t as enamored with it then as I am now, I read the Bible frequently also.  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson were two books that touched my life deeply.

Reading was my favorite pastime and I was often called bookworm by my brother and sister who didn’t share my passion.  My love for the written word inspired me to write as well.  I still have the first story I remember writing; it was a short story about a family during colonial times and I believe it was an assignment for what was then called Social Studies.

I always kept a diary and keep a journal to this day.  As life moved on, I failed to record as much and couldn’t seem to find the time to write, but it was always there, bubbling beneath the surface.  I think we are all born with gifts and callings and it is our role as parents to encourage those gifts.  As individuals, when they begin to resonate within us, we should introduce them to this world and practice them to perfection.

My writing resumed its former importance when my children arrived and I felt compelled to leave a record of things; something they could refer back to and remember me by.  I treasure a book of poetry left to me by my mother.  It shares a part of her that most didn’t know and when I read a selection, it is her voice I still hear.  It brings me comfort, so I feel I can leave something similar for them.

Blogging began for me a little more than a year ago and originally was born out of a desire to become a better writer with the end goal of published inspirational fiction.  As I see how much I have learned and grown in the past year, I am content to continue to stay on the same course until I am ready for bigger things.  Maybe it will only serve as a journal of sorts for my children, but if I can occasionally even touch one person with my writing, by either causing them to think or reflect, or maybe feel better than they did before reading it, I will have accomplished something.  To touch a life, even in a small way, really is a big thing.

Lastly, writing is just something I have to do.  It doesn’t appear to be a choice.  Sometimes it may seem buried in the chaos of this life, but there are days that I must write, or I feel like I will burst.  I truly feel like reading and writing are both absolutes for me; they have been and will be a part of my life forever.

Comments

  1. You and I seem to have a lot in common– from favorite childhood books, to keeping our first childhood stories (mine are somewhere!?), to needing to write – even when life gets busy and pushes it to the back burner for a short while. I love your thoughts on writing being a record to leave to our children. I’ve been thinking about this lately… :). And I love this comment: “To touch a life, even in a small way, really is a big thing.” Great post!!

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