Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Igniting the Spark

     Last Friday I was invited by a school organization to talk with 60 high school students about writing. Loved it. Though I'm not a natural at public speaking, get me talking about writing and I can go on and on.
     I could tell some kids in the audience would rather have been back in their classrooms, heads bent over their books, pretending to read, and instead catching a few zzzz's before the bell rang for the next period. But others listened, bright-eyed and leaning forward in their seats. Seeing them, I knew if they weren't already writing their own stories, they would be soon. They had that look in their eye.
     I remember the first time I realized I could be a writer, and would be a writer someday.  Mrs. Clarke, my fourth grade teacher, invited her friend to visit our class and talk about writing. I wish I could remember who she was or what she wrote, but she stood in front of our class holding two of her books to her chest, and I remember thinking, wow! she actually MADE that book! There was a real live person who created that very real book, and not some ambiguous name on a cover in the library. The realization was electric! I thought, I can write stories and see my name in print someday. I can do that, too!
     And that someday came true, thanks in part to Mrs. Clarke's author friend.
     What about you? Who inspired you to be a writer?

11 comments:

  1. I remember I went through a period when I was younger when I thought I'd be a writer. I think, like you, my elementary school teachers encouraged me. Then I hit middle school and that all changed. I was going to be a singer, then an actress. Then I grew up and took a "real job" but the urge to write fiction returned when my kids got older and I felt like I had more time to devote to it.

    The weird thing about me is that I need quiet time in my life at some point in the day to write my stories. That quiet time was impossible until a few years ago. I really admire people who can work full time, raise a family, and write. My brain was too tired to do all that when the kids were younger.

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  2. I didn't have your Mrs. Clarke, but my parents knew a few real-living published writers. For me it was the act of writing my stories on paper that gave that sort of 'high.'
    And speaking of 'high'- High-five to you for your high-school presentation. You’re riding high! (Couldn't resist. Blame it on morning coffee.)

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  3. Kim, I understand that need for quiet time to produce. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I finally stopped trying to write , which was maddening, but it was more maddening to give 50/50 to two very important facets of my life. Once the youngest went to preschool for a few hours a day, I was able to get back to it. Some people can multi-task very well. I can't.

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  4. I wish I had authors come talk to my classes when I was in school. I remember a poet coming to my college and talking to us though. I'm not sure any one person made me want to be a writer. It's always just been a part of me.

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  5. I don't remember any specific person who inspired me to write, but there are a few authors that I read and fell in love with and some college professors who definitely encouraged my path.

    Dropping by to say hi! I'm a fellow campaigner in Group 1. Looking forward to following you!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, Mer_Melody!

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  7. I've always loved writing; but a string of events was to be the catapult for me properly embarking the path I follow now -which coincidently has me passing via the campaign trail. :)

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  8. I've always loved reading and had stories making themselves up in my head. I don't know that there was ever one particular writer or person who has been my inspiration . . . there are so many and I keep finding new ones. I look forward to following you during the campaign.

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  9. I have always liked to write but only really got into writing for publication in 2009. It has been a ton of fun, and I've met many wonderful folks along the way! Worth it!

    Keep up the good work, Dawn! And many thanks for stopping by my blog today!

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  10. I'm a fellow Campaigner just passing by. I was inspired by many authors but mostly by Astrid Lindgren.

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  11. Fellow campaigner here, dropping by to say "Hi". My inspirational list is miles long, and it keeps growing the more books I read and writers I meet. +1 Follower.
    --Kevin

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