I'm a pretty chatty person -- anyone who knows me will tell you so. I like to think that as the middle child, I went through my whole childhood believing that I had to be louder than my big sister, but I'm pretty sure she just thought I was noisy. Also, she's pretty quiet so I didn't really need to compete with her, but that did not stop me. The ramble about family may seem unimportant, but my point is: I've always felt like I needed to be heard, that I deserved to be heard. I'd like to say that is the reason I started writing, but since I was in second grade when I realized I enjoyed writing, saying that I just wanted to be heard is probably giving myself too much credit. I talked literally all the time, it was impossible not to hear me.
Writing started out as entertainment. If I remember correctly, the first story I wrote was about a fox. That's kind of all I remember about the story itself, but I remember the praise I got for it. It didn't stop there. In second grade, we also had to pretend to be pioneers for a while and we were assigned different identities and divided into families. I took it a little more seriously than most people. I loved delving into this little historical fantasy world, and we got to write journal entries from the point of view of our "character" which meant that I not only got to pretend to be a pioneer, I got to make up stories to go along with it. The point is that I was a nerd in second grade. I'm still a nerd.
After my family moved to North Carolina, I met two people who are still my best friends, and from that time on my childhood was full of games that wouldn't have made any sense to anyone else. We were characters with stories, sisters or fairies or detectives. We did arts and crafts sometimes, but games were my favorite. To this day, I'm still glad that my childhood was spent with girls who were as imaginative as I was. We all shared a love of writing, in fact we tried several times to collaborate on stories, but due to time constraints, and eventually distance between us, we never got very far. I wouldn't have wanted to spend my childhood surrounded by anyone else. Things could have been different, for any number of reasons, and I am so glad they weren't. Writing stories has ever been an easy task for me. Imagining characters, plot lines, villains, and made-up worlds is not that difficult. Organizing it all coherently is a different story.
I have a fairly blissful existence. I've been lucky in that I love my family and I've always been surrounded by friends. Still, I grew up in my fantasy worlds, imagined with or without friends. I read before I wrote. "The Magic Tree House" was the first book series that I really loved, and later down the line I fell for "Inkheart." These books helped me create my first little fantasy worlds, my first little characters, and once I started I don't think I ever really stopped. I'm known to ramble on and on in everyday conversation, and I can't say that I think I'm a very good public speaker.
I do, however, believe that I am a good writer. I think that I write better than I speak, and when I can organize my thoughts on paper, I am proud of the results. I've written these articles, short stories, poems, a play, and many, very lengthy papers. Writing is a part of who I am; It is my comfort, and my joy. When I was in therapy for depression, I was told to journal. I did. Writing became a tool that enabled me to carry on and move forward. Being a writer is important, not just because I am a nerd but because I truly believe that I wouldn't be who I am today if I had not done a silly little project in the second grade that made me realize how much I loved to make up stories.