What started me writing: something pissed me off.
A man was killed while hanging out with friends at a local bar – a bar I’d gone to myself with a former boyfriend. My outrage segued to the first letter-to-the-editor I’d ever written, and my first by-line; and that did it.
That was back when speaking my outrage, passions, excitements or sadness usually resulted in a jumbled mess of incomplete thoughts, forgotten words, and total frustration that once again, the frenzied flapping of butterfly wings in my belly had clouded my brain and made me sound like a blithering idiot. (Wow, that was a mouthful, wasn’t it?) But, that’s how I felt inside: like a run-on sentence; like everything I wanted to say was racing around bumping into each other. That was during my high school years, and most of the decades after that. Having all eyes on me while I was talking has never made my top ten list of favorite things. Speech class was a nightmare of sweat, blurred faces, watching my hands shake the paper I was holding, and wondering if my audience could hear the trembling in my voice. I gained a bit of confidence as staff writer for a couple of newspapers, but by then the writing bug had latched on with powerful jaws and I no longer felt any burning desire to get comfortable with public speaking.
Writing became a high for me then; and it still is today. Thirty-plus years after writing my first letter-to-the-editor, seeing my byline and knowing that the story below is my creation, something that came from my brain, sends me soaring into the clouds again. It’s an opportunity to say all that my tongue won’t or can’t say. It’s a challenge to find the right words to convey a message that readers can relate to. And it’s work; work that I’ve gotta confess I’m not always willing to do, no matter how much satisfaction it gives me once I’ve done it. It’s like running. Getting me out the door, especially in chilly weather, is like trying to calm down a pissed-off bear. But once I finish my work-out, all I can think about is how good it feels. Sometimes it’s all I can do to get my butt anywhere near my writing chair. But when my fingers start tapping the letters on my keyboard, I’m in heaven dreaming about my byline in magazines, anthologies, and book covers.
Writing is my chocolate. 🙂