People always ask why I write, and it’s a hard question to answer. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. At my elementary school graduation, I remember everyone expecting me to be excited because I had won the award for academic achievement, but I was actually miserable because I didn’t win the one for creative writing (Congratulations, Maya. Still not bitter!).
Part of my desire to write stemmed from my mother who is an avid reader herself. When she was elementary school age, she entered a contest run by her town library for the most books any student could read in a summer. She read over 75 books in three months, which means almost a book a day. My mother’s family life was very unstable and books were her escape. The library was her second home, and from books she learned all the important lessons of life she wasn’t learning from her parents: what it means to be a friend, why hope matters, and how to love.
Growing up, my family was more stable than my mother’s, but I still turned to books for companionship. I was shy and also very tall, and my height made me self-conscious. I often stood with stooped shoulders and bent knees, trying to fit in. A classic introvert, I was happiest reading. Knowing this, my mother would ask me to tell her not just about my friends from school, but also about my friends from books. To this day, if I had to make a list of who most shaped my life and taught me the traits I’m most proud of, I’d include as many fictional names as real ones (thank you, Ramona Quimby, Ponyboy Curtis, Franny Glass, and so on).
When I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to contribute to the world, writing rose to the top of my list. But life has a way of zig-zagging the path to our goals, and it took many years before I was able to write consistently. Now my daily routine includes journaling and reading in addition to crafting stories. I can think of no better way to spend my time.