Writer’s are a nutty group of people. Most of us go around all day with people talking in our heads. Schizo? Some of us might be but most of us started out as day dreamers. I know I did. Can any of you relate to that?
I was a little kid when Cheers was on television. My mother used to let me watch with her before bedtime. And after she would tuck me in and say goodnight I would lay awake and create my own storylines. I desperately wanted Sam and Rebecca to get married. (I was never a Diane fan.) I used to dream of them kissing and saying I love you or whatever other romantic thing a six year old could dream of. Later when I was in high school, biology was my favorite time to drift off. (Wasn’t a fan of my nasal voiced bio teacher. Still shudder when I think about her.) I used to wonder what would happen if the blonde goddess Justina,(sat in front of me) got together with the uni-browed Billy (sat beside me). An entire courtship played out in my mind including the breakup because let’s face it homecoming queens don’t date boys who play the tuba. Was that weird? Yes. The other girls were dreaming of becoming the future Mrs. Timberlake and I was dreaming about other people’s romances.
I didn’t realize at the tender age of fifteen that those were my beginnings as a romance writer. I didn’t realize that I wanted to write at all until my senior year of college. EDR 345 is a literacy for children class that all education majors at my school have to take and one of the requirements is to keep a writer’s notebook. There were no parameters given to us about this notebook, no rules or directions. All we were instructed to do was write and write a lot. We needed a staggering one hundred entries before the end of the semester and to top it all of we had to choose five to share with our professor. Of course after hearing this there were many bitter twenty year olds. The only thing most of us had ever written were papers and even then the professor told us what to write about. We had to be creative, to use our imaginations and for some of my peers it was extremely difficult. I was expecting it to be that way for me but it wasn’t. My notebook filled quickly and it was fairly easy for me to choose five entries to share with my professor.
A week after I handed my notebook in I received it back with a neon pink sticky note with SEE ME!, on it. My stomach dropped. Was it really that bad? I stayed after class, taking the walk of shame to my professor’s desk.
“You wanted to see me, Dr. Courtney?”
“Yeah, but what’s with the face? You look like I just ran over your cat.”
I’ll never forget what she said next, because I still hear her thick New England accent in my head. “Eighty percent of what I get from you guys is total rot, but some of you take it seriously, even if you didn’t mean to. You my dear, are a writer. You have to write and I would be sorely disappointed if you stopped writing just because you finished the assignment.”
I had an AHA moment that day. I went back to my dorm, pick up a pen and haven’t stopped writing. I’m sure my professor doesn’t realize she made such an impact on me or if she even remembers me at all, but she is the reason why I started to seriously write.
We’ve all had a moment like that. What was yours? What made you want to become a writer?