Write about your own development as a writer. What were your earliest experiences with writing as a way to express ideas? Who taught you to write well? At what point did you realize writing was something you cared about?Has your process as a writer changed over time? How so? Do you enjoy some kinds of writing over others– academic, professional, personal, creative?
I found, the other day, a journal, or diary rather, from my wise years as a young child. It is pink, a color I have always hated, but I picked it out because of the lock that assured me all of my secrets would be kept safely inside. I don’t remember when I first started writing in this journal, I only can surmise from the poorly formed letters and block print writing that I was younger than a third grader because I hadn’t yet learned cursive.
I believe I have been a writer since then. Certainly since I learned about writing a bit earlier through my discovery of the joys of reading. At night, wrapped in a night gown snuggled under the covers, my heart beating out of my chest, I would wait until I heard my parents settling in downstairs, and then I’d slowly turn on the bedside lamp, wincing at the tell-tale click of illumination, hold my breath to make sure no heavy foot falls were stalking up the stairs, exhale at the silence, smile, and promptly dig into whatever I was reading at the time. The Black Stallion, Black Beauty, any other horse book, or The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle all acted as some of my secret night time friends.
From my love of reading came my love of writing. Sometimes I’d pretend to be a character from one of the books, and I’d stand in front of the mirror in my bathroom, making up lines that Charlotte might say if she were in a fight with my brother, or holding imaginary conversations between Pollyanna and my sister.
Later, in junior high school at the urging of my English teachers, I developed a journaling habit, one which I only stopped recently, despite the fact I wish I hadn’t. As a testament to the writing bug, I have boxes of old journals which are truly a hoot to look through. I pray no one reads them until I’m dead, for they contain reflections of a crushing pre-teen, an emotionally melodramatic and truly distraught-at-times teenager, a very confused college student, and a budding and all-too-soulful young adult poet.
When I became an English teacher, my enjoyment of composing in different genres expanded, and I started writing more creative non-fiction articles, essays, and satires. Perhaps my writing is a testament to my reading because it was at that time I began to more fully enjoy the beauty of Jonathan Swift, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and the like.
All I know, is the more I read, the more I want to read, and the more I write, the more I want to write.