What writing means to me

I’ve always loved to write. I really have. I think it is either some sort of quirk in a chromosome that I was born with, or it became ingrained in me through my mom reading a book to me every night before bed. (Something I can’t wait to do for my own kids some day!)

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved books. I devoured books. The best Christmas gifts ever usually came in the form of… you guessed it… books. By second grade I was reading chapter books. Boxcar Children was my series, thanks to my teacher reading the first book of the series to us in class. (My addiction to series books later morphed into Baby-Sitters Club and the various Sweet Valley series.)

In 3rd grade, I started competing in writing competitions. Every year I’d enter. And every year, until 7th grade, I couldn’t win to save my soul. But it never stopped me from trying. I enjoyed learning how to write descriptively, or how to write a how to paper. I never minded the writing portions of tests (often accused of not even knowing how to write “short answers” because they’d always end up too detailed), and I would often “write” stories in my mind as I fell asleep at night. (Usually based on whatever book I was reading at the time.)

I hit high school, and I took journalism as “an easy A” and I discovered a talent for the writing style. So I pursued it all the way through college. I went into my first newspaper job, and I found what I loved was my column writing. Free form writing again. No journalistic rules (outside of, of course, making sure I was being honest and not slandering anyone). Just write whatever was on my mind. And I even won an award for one of my columns!

Even when I wasn’t in a writing job, I’d write. Fan fiction became a new outlet for me. Then just writing daily in my private journal. I have always been writing. It’s become like breathing for me. I have to do it to clear my thoughts. I have to to it to share with the world. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll mean something to someone else.

I was recently asked to put a price tag on my blog. I came up with some sort of arbitrary number, even as I wanted to scream, “PRICELESS!” Its like being asked to put a price tag on oxygen for me. If I didn’t have this blog, I’d have another one. I have to write. I need to write. I love to write.

Maybe some day I’ll actually make a little money doing it…

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