I've been challenged by a fellow writer to write about why I love writing. I have no doubt that this challenge is inspired by the upcoming holiday, but it is a great time to reflect on why this lengthy, sometimes tedious process is so near and dear to me.
At the young age of eight years old I convinced my mom to buy me one of those fancy little journals with the fabric print covers at Buttrey's grocery store. With my special four-color pen in hand, I began writing about four characters in alternating colors: blue, pink, purple, and green. (Sound familiar?) I can't recall their names, but I do remember writing about their outfits and elemental powers in great detail. But I couldn't bear to put them in any danger, so they stayed in that little journal in their fancy colors of ink until I threw it away. (I really wish I hadn't.)
Fast forward to fifth grade and I fill a notebook with weapons, town names, and of course, the four characters again. I'm pretty sure that they came in different iterations, new names, different but similar abilities, etc. But once this notebook was filled I started writing about my characters on my parents' Apple Performa 410 computer. After five chapters had been saved to the hard drive, the computer crashed as I had taken all its memory. My father still reminds me of how I destroyed the first family computer with one of my books.
Books, whether I've been reading or writing, have always been my escape. As a young introvert, I found social interaction to be terribly awkward-I never felt like I had the right words. I would sit by the classroom door and read books at recess rather than socialize with my peers. But I've always been able to find the words when I write. Writing for me has been freeing; a place where I can explore my thoughts and express my ideas without worrying about how awkward the social interaction may be. I've since learned a lot about expressing myself in public; I've had to, I now teach writing and get paid to speak in front of the class, but being able to sit and write is still where I feel most relaxed and content. And soon, as soon as I self-publish or a publisher picks up my books, I'll finally be able to share my story of the four elemental warriors. It's only been incubating in my brain for 26 years.