I caught the writing bug later in life. It stems from my love of reading. As a child, my interests gravitated toward music and art. I spent hours either learning new songs on guitar or drawing and sketching on my art pad. I enjoyed playing outside and having fun with my friends, but I could be just as happy sitting for hours quietly by myself reading a book.
As I got older, reading became more important. In junior high school, I moved to a small town in West Texas. We started off in town, but soon moved to the country. With only one neighbor close to my age within walking distance, I started reading more often.
The library in our small town was amazing. I didn’t know this at the time, but looking back, I can see how special it was. Most of the town’s population lived outside the city limits. You can imagine how poor TV reception might be, and the only radio station around was dubbed “the voice with no choice”. By either circumstance or temperament, most people were readers.
I loved our generously stocked small-town library. My parents and I would wander around the aisles, pick out what we wanted, and meet at the front desk with armfuls of books. I’m not sure, but always imagined; the selection was so eclectic because citizens donated most of the books.
After graduating high school and working for a few years, I eventually joined the military. I served aboard a nuclear fast-attack submarine. On deployment, I often enjoyed reading to escape. During this time and after leaving the military, people often commented how I should be a writer. I’m not sure why people said it, but the idea eventually started seeping in. Maybe I should be a writer.
Leaving the military, I entered college and eventually had to declare a major. I fought for years to be everything but a writer. I always had thought I should do something traditional and “safe”. Eventually I became a professional writing major at Baylor University. Through various circumstances and what seemed like fate, opportunities and events have conspired or transpired to bring me here.
I once heard writers write because they can’t bear not to. I thought I might be in trouble. I could write, but I didn’t feel any special need to. I didn’t feel any compulsion to put words to paper. As I’ve written in school, and eventually on my own, I’ve started to understand how important writing can become. I’m excited as I begin a summer internship with TSTC Publishing.
I may have started a little later than normal, but I already feel the same pleasure from writing I first felt when wandering the aisles of our small town’s library. Maybe now I can create something that brings someone else happiness. I’d like to think eventually someone will be quietly enjoying something I’ve written, and discover the same happiness from reading that I did.