I fell in love with writing the moment I first held a pencil in my hand and began forming words on paper. I would sit for hours with my writing book open on the table in front of me, copying the letters over and over and over again until they were just right. I was one of the only students in my first grade class who didn’t groan when Mrs. Smith would announce that it was time to practice our penmanship.

In second grade, I began writing my first “novel”. It was a mystery story, sort of a Nancy Drew type caper. Using my classmates as characters, I penned six chapters and nearly forty pages before I put it aside to work on another project.

Despite all the technological advances, I still prefer a pen and paper. People think I’m crazy that I handwrite everything first, before typing it up on the computer.

“Why the hell would you do that? You realize you’re doing twice as much work that way? It’s must faster to just type it all out in the first place.”

But there is just something about a crisp, clean sheet of blank paper, something about the weight of the pen in my hand that opens the floodgates of my imagination the way a keyboard and screen never could. Somehow, the words just seem to flow from my pen, effortlessly, on their own. With a pen in my hand, I am just along for the ride.

There was nothing I ever wanted more than to be a writer. Yet sometimes, even now, I have difficulty calling myself that–a writer. I have never written a bestseller. I have never made a million dollars. I have never sold a manuscript to be made into a blockbuster movie. Oprah has not yet called to interview me, or added any of my writing to her Book Club.

Yet, I keep writing, keep writing, keep writing, every chance I get. I write blog entries and editorials, short stories and poetry, blurbs and feature articles. In my file cabinet, I have half-a-dozen folders filled with notes and ideas for novels, and even one full-length memoir that I just can’t seem to stop editing. I’ve been fortunate enough to be published, and to even make some money doing it. But even if I never publish the next great American novel, I won’t stop writing. I can’t stop writing. It’s in my blood. It’s who I am.

I couldn’t decide whether I liked the color or black & white conversion of the photo better, so I posted both. Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the other writers out there. Whatever you do, keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.


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