Wednesday, August 8, 2007

On Becoming a Writer

Guess what? I’m a writer. Don’t laugh at me. I just figured it out as I was walking down the hall, heading back to my desk from the cafeteria. I’m a writer. I’ve been accused of being a writer a time or two before. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really believe it. I thought I might like to be a writer, someday. I enjoyed writing a poem here and there and thought I might continue such writing if granted sufficient inspiration.

Suddenly, it all makes sense. Those stories that were all lined up in my brain waiting to get out, just waiting for the right words. There have always been stories: monsters under the bridge, ghosts in the attic, drunks in Volkswagen vans with evil headlights, and acts of espionage in a small town not so very far away. Maybe I should have known that I was, in fact, a writer. I just thought that being a writer was a destination I would get to—someday.

I started out, like many writers do, as a reader. You might remember me from school, I was the quiet, plain girl that was always hiding behind an open book. I even read sections of the Chilton Auto Repair Manual once. It was a slow day. I figure that if one were to calculate the space taken up by all the words I’ve read in my life, that my internal hard drive is getting pretty full. It’s time to dump a little, make room for more.

You ask of my qualifications? Well, many years ago I was President of my high school literary club. I think there were five of us in all. It was a record membership year. And, then, when I went away to college I worked as an office assistant for one of the English professors. I type-set and proof-read four analytical, multi-cultural hardcover books and four literary journals in four years. I also typed his correspondence and fetched books from the library which was no small task. I was affectionately known by English professors of many diverse nationalities as “the Kentucky girl.” You may have heard of me.

And, then, I spent several years as a convenient walking dictionary. Everybody should know someone who can spell words on command. Yes, that’s me. Incidentally, I worked in a bank and then managed an office in a manufacturing facility. But mostly, I fixed other peoples words so that they sounded smarter than they really were. It’s a noble, yet inglorious cause.

The task before me is to translate the thoughts and stories crammed into my brain to paper and mold them into something worth reading. I have parts of several stories written and a notebook full of words that didn’t quite make it into poetry. But, most importantly, I have an excuse to spend hours sitting in front of my home computer engaged in the honorable traditions of writing while my children watch their fill of juvenile television shows every evening Monday through Friday.


Mike said...

Well, it's better than being a bootlegger, preacher or politician, I suppose. It could be worse. YOU could be one of them infernal professors you used to carry to their retirement and have "Kentucky Girl, Jr." shooting you funny looks behind your back. lol

Fabian G. Franklin said...

This is great, I could probably use some of those famous "Kentucky Girl" editing skills with my writing. I saw some problems with it when I went back and read it but posted it anyway. Heck, yall won't shoot me will ya'?I hope not.This is my first time here. First time "blogging" anything too. But Mike invited me so blame him. lol Nice to meet you and your story gave me some smiles. I especially liked the part about the Chilton's Manual. I think I have a problem with my air conditioner on my car, maybe you could... just kidding.