Ever since that fateful little book, I was in love with writing.
“When did you first start writing?”
This is one of the most common questions writers are asked. Frankly, it’s one of my favorites because of the stories that come with the question. Rarely does anyone just answer with a date or number. Usually, it’s answered with a beautiful story about what impassioned them to write.
For me, I started writing in the first grade, and I remember that day quite clearly.
It was creative assignment period, and I was bored, as I often was. My first grade class was supposed to be drawing a picture from a sentence prompt. For my friend (we’ll call her Xandria) and I, it just wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t much of an artist, and wanted to write something instead. She loved art and wanted to draw something more creative than the prompt. An idea popped into our heads. We were going to write a book.
We asked our teacher if we could, and she loved the idea.
Xandria and I gathered some small pink pieces of paper, stapled them together, and brainstormed the plot. Wanting it to be cute, but also inspirational, we decided on a story about a dog who, after jumping on a trampoline, decided he wanted to be a pilot. For the next week, we worked diligently on our short story.
I wrote and Xandria drew.
Our words have the power to change lives, to change worlds.
Throughout the entire process, our teacher encouraged us, never once demeaning our childish work. Teachers are so influential to young children and I have heard so many horror stories of teachers who stunted children’s creative dreams by criticizing them. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for having a teacher who was the exact opposite.
When we finished, we proudly presented our little pink book to our teacher. She loved it so much, she asked if she could keep it with the class's reading material so other children could be inspired by it. Proud to be able to influence our peers to do something great, we, of course, said yes!
Ever since that fateful little book, I was in love with writing. Creating something from nothing, a story that could inspire others and help them to dream. That, I knew, was what I wanted to do. After that, journaling was always one of my favorite school assignments, and I even enjoyed writing essays.
Even now, I look back and wonder if any other child ever picked up that book and realized if they too could write a book. I hope they did. I hope, somehow, Xandria and I were able to inspire other kids to pick up a pen and paper and write their story, to dream beyond what they had been given, to get a taste of the sky and want to fly.
Books help us to dream, to live lives we wouldn’t normally be able to touch. They help us to see the world through a new set of eyes, a new perspective. The worlds between pages have so much to offer.
It is our job as authors that we never lose sight of this. Our words have the power to change lives, to change worlds. And it is also the job of readers to never forget to dream. For it is those dreams, those fateful wonders of life, that truly make our lives worth living.
May the suns smile upon your presence!