Being a Writer

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Answer: Like forever.

I was in the third grade and writing stories every chance I got. I was a busy-bee reader. No kidding. I got a medal from the teacher proclaiming me as a Busy-Bee Reader. I’d started one end of the fiction shelf at the library with the intention of reading all the way to the end. Books were the signposts of my childhood. Most of my memories were tied to titles.

So when my dad came home from a parent/teacher conference with a stack of my stories written on lined paper I wondered what was going on. He told me the teacher was concerned. You see I was spending class time writing stories instead of doing school work.

Dad said while at school I needed to pay attention to the teacher, but while at home I could feel free to write my stories. A few years later I inherited an old typewriter. I spent many hours at my desk typing away.

I loved the springing feel of the keys beneath my fingers and at the end of the sentence smacking the return bar and starting on the next line. Sometimes I’d get a brilliant idea or go too fast and hit too many keys at once. A conflagration of them met in the middle. It reminded me of crossing swords. I’d have to reach into the middle and unravel the nest of metal—and start all over again with ink-smudged fingers.

With my typewriter and the stories inside my head I could walk down many roads, cross rivers and streams, and travel the world.

So when did I know I was a writer—I was never not a writer.

My latest book, Cloud of Witnesses, comes out in September! Check it out here.

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