Posted on October 27, 2015
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who LOVED books. Like was obsessed with books. Read All. The. Time. Got into trouble for reading too much. She loved Judy Blume and Nancy Drew mysteries in particular.
One day she realized she could use words to make stories. She started writing a story, with characters and plotlines very similar to her favorite author. Very proudly, she would show off her writing to adults in her life…who quickly rejected it. “That’s not REALLY how you feel is it?” “I don’t like this character.” And other similar comments, indicating that she should not continue with this particular endeavor.
So she continued to write…but in secret. She never showed anyone. She was afraid she would be criticized or not good enough.
Many years passed and this now almost adult girl was heading off to college. She was a typical teenage girl, very IN LOVE, with her high school sweetheart and full of angst about leaving him. She wrote him a letter. Upon reading this letter, he quickly informed her, “You should be a writer.”
This statement relit the spark that had been in her…she SHOULD be a writer. It was not lost on this girl, however, that said boyfriend had probably never read a book, but that is beside the point.
The relationship ended, but not the desire to write. She continued to keep this desire to write a secret though, for fear she would be teased or told she wasn’t good enough.
She became a teacher, her favorite classes being those in children’s literature. And she still loved books.
But she knew she would never be a writer, not like a real writer. Like John Green, who is an adult and somehow remembers what it was like to be a teenager and can relate to them on a brilliant level. Or J.K. Rowling, who can imagine and create an entire world of magic and friendship that encouraged kids to read…and dream.
She went on to have kids of her own. She read to them all the time and passed her love of literature on to at least one of them. But she never became a writer.
She did start a blog though. She is not a writer. She is not even a blogger. Or she will not give herself permission to be labeled with these titles. People still may tell her she isn’t good enough or that her ideas are terrible if she does. She merely takes some ideas and words and puts them on her blog. Her husband pats her head and tells her she is a good writer…so she will take that.
Her oldest son also loves her books. And says he might want to be a writer. He creates characters, settings, and plotlines that are similar to one of his favorite authors, Rick Riordan. Instead of critiquing though, she tries to encourage him to write. To join the newspaper. To share his stories and character ideas. She never wants him to feel like he can’t be a writer…or an anything else he wants to be.
Maybe he will become a famous author, or maybe not. But it won’t be because his mom told him he isn’t good enough. And it might possibly inspire him to know that his mom finally got brave enough to start a blog so she could write. Even though she still isn’t a writer…