How My Parents Made Me A Writer

How My Parents Made Me A Writer

I’ve told stories my whole life. My parents made sure that I knew it was worthwhile.

Sophie Katz

I’ve always loved reading and telling stories, but not everyone who reads or tells stories becomes a writer. I’ve recently found myself trying to piece together how it all started. I could point to many teachers who have shaped my writing, especially since I enrolled at the University of Iowa, but none of them were around to get me on the road to being a writer in the first place. For that, I have my parents to thank.

My parents kept our house full of books and they often sat and read with my siblings and me when we were little. However, there are people who grow up in houses full of books who don’t grow up with reading and writing as their favorite things (my brother is one of them). My love of stories came from inside me. I can’t remember anyone ever teaching me to narrate the adventures of my toys in the dollhouse, it was just a fun thing that I did on my own. I have two major childhood memories of things my parents did for me that, I believe, set me on the path to becoming not just a story-lover, but a writer.

One morning, while I stood at the front door, waiting for the bus to come and take me to kindergarten, my dad sat down next to me and started to ask me questions about the story that I’d narrated with the toys before breakfast. Who were the characters? What were they doing? I answered his questions and he made notes on a piece of paper. When I got home that day, he presented me with a typed sheet of paper. On it was the story that I’d told him, all official and in print. I still get excited thinking about that day. It was the day that my Dad showed me that the stories that I casually made up for my toys were worth hearing, they could be written down and read. People would be interested in them, just like how people were interested in "Harry Potter" and "The Berenstein Bears." After that, I started to write my stories down and I told them to other people more often.

My mom provided the other big contribution to making me a writer, but because the memories of those moments are much less fun, it’s taken me years to realize how important they were. In elementary school, there was a competition called “Young Authors.” I wrote little books for that contest every year. Mom was the one who told me that my stories didn’t make sense and that I needed to edit. I would kick, scream, and insist that my stories were fine just the way that they were, but she wouldn’t back down or give up. She would stick with me until I had improved my work. In doing so, Mom showed me that my stories were worth putting effort into and that I could and should improve my craft. Even though I never won the Young Authors contest, I know that that was when my writing really started to improve. I learned to self-critique and to put my writing in other people’s hands not just for praise, but for constructive criticism.

To this day, my parents are still my cheerleaders and my editors. I’d probably still love stories without their influence, but I know that I wouldn’t be the writer who I am today. I’m heading towards a future in which writing is the main thing that I do with my life and, while telling fun little stories to my toys was a good starting point, I couldn’t have made it this far on fun alone.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only did she launch her beauty marketing career at legendary Smashbox Cosmetics, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sixth grade was the year that you were allowed to participate in a school sport. This was what my friends and I had all been waiting for since we started middle school. I had already made the cheer team with my friends, but I had to wait to start that in the winter since we cheered for basketball. I really wanted to have some sort of activity in the fall, but I did not know what to do. Somehow, I decided to run cross country. Not really sure how I decided on a sport where it was quite literally just running. A few of my friends were doing it as well, so I knew it was going to be fun.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Working Out Every Day During Quarantine Helps Me Feel A Sense Of Control

Physical activity helps my mental health in a world that feels uncertain.

Before the pandemic, I exercised a handful of times a week at best. In quarantine, I've been exercising every single day. I don't want this article to be another spiel about how exercise "changed my life," and all the other cliches that health gurus use to convince others to work out more. Rather, I want to reveal that exercise is a tool that works for me because it boosts my mental health when I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.

Keep Reading... Show less

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a roller coaster is an extreme understatement. Who knew that this decade was going to start off like THIS!? Not me, not you, and not that sweet old lady who lives down the street. One thing is certain though — while the world may be a mess right now, you can still fuel your body with food that keeps you happy and healthy. Thankfully, as we are all spending more time inside, you can get healthy snacks delivered straight to your front door! Amazon has never been more convenient (and tasty).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments