People often ask me what made me start writing this blog. And while the About page answers the what, it doesn’t really explain the why or how. And after receiving a recent email from a frequent reader inquiring about my “succinct” writing style, I felt this is a good time to begin to explain how I got to this point over a series of posts.
I am a reader. I have always loved to read since before I can remember. I read everything from newspapers to novels. My favorite genre is historical fiction. Ah, I love it. So when I begin writing my thoughts in elementary school it just seemed like a natural progression. It came effortlessly. As a teenager, I became frustrated with the usual “Because I said so,” speech from my parents and I just felt like I wasn’t being heard in my household…wow, I mean their house. So I begin writing these letters explaining to them how I was more than capable of handling the responsibilities of adulthood and gave examples. I would also add how I felt about their actions and volunteered ideas on how they should improve on parenting if they wanted me to respond accordingly. I specifically remember writing that I would no longer subject myself as slave on their plantation and this house should be a democracy since we do live in America. I would then call these family meetings, my mother, my father and myself, and read these letters out loud. I was bad. I was hateful. My momma cried. My daddy said nothing… then went to the closet to get his belt- the one with his name embossed on it. I think he missed my point. But it was at this time, seeing their reactions to what I had said, did I become addicted to the power of words.
I begin to write everyday during the summer breaks. I would read all day and write all night. This was until I found out about boys. Then all of that went out of the window! Unless something bothered me, and then I would always find my happy place with my pen and paper. I would write everything, poetry, short stories (my favorite), and essays on what I read earlier. However, it wasn’t until my senior year in high school when a teacher, Mrs. Vinson, took the time before and after school to really hone my writing skills. Originally, she was supposed to be helping me with writing my essay for my college application. She instructed me to write freely, so I did. Halfway through she took away the paper I was writing on, threw it away, and begin to hand me some more paper. I yelled, “Why did you do that?” She explained that I was writing outside of the lines – that I always write outside of the lines and that I loosely use the margins. She then handed me a blank, line-less copy paper. I was home.
For the first time in a long time, I was eager to go to school. I felt like she understood who I was a person and used that to make me a better writer and reader. So long after my college application was in for early admission, I was there 45 minutes before class doing writing exercises writing about things in which I was passionate as well as the things I was not passionate about at all. I received my acceptance letter to college on Christmas Eve. So when school returned in January, I was so excited to run up to 3rd floor to show her my welcome packet. As I was thanking her profusely she stopped me and said, “You came up with the ideas. Everything you wrote were your words. I just helped you find your best voice.”