My life has changed dramatically in the last 3 days.
With the launching of another blog, I realize now that I write most of every day.
The child in me is turning cartwheels. For though I may not be writing novels, and I may not be considered a "writer," I am writing up a veritable storm.
Writing and the reading of it has consumed my entire life. As a young girl, I was in awe of Dr. Seuss. The rhyme, the rhythm, and the silly made-up words delighted me then and continue to delight me now.
After reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at least 5 times and James and the Giant Peach at least twice (those were the only Roald Dahl books that existed when I was young. Matilda, The BFG, and The Witches came much later), I wanted to write him a letter I loved his books so much. After an unsuccessful search for how to contact him, I decided to settle for naming my first-born son after him.
Growing up, I wrote poems all the time, often putting them inside cards I had made for my family and friends. My Grandpa Edvalson used to write little ditties for everyone in our family on their birthdays, and I often wonder if my penchant for rhyming poetry came from him. When I was in the 9th grade, I wrote and performed a full-length poem in Dr. Suess style for a speech festival called Birds of No Feathers Flock Togethers. I won superior ratings at the district but was unsuccessful in getting it published as a high school senior.
When it came to essays, short stories, and research papers, I was the nerd who actually enjoyed writing them. The ten-page research paper I was required to write on Moby Dick for AP English over the Christmas vacation of my senior year (including the reading of the book--I was a serious procrastinator in those days) literally changed my life. I didn't much enjoy the book please, an entire chapter on the fin and another one on the tail? I'd rather pull my fingernails out, one by one but when I started doing the research for the paper, I started to understand the author's purpose and the genius of it all. The English-teacher-classics-book-lover-studier-of-writing-and-observer-of-the-writing-process in me was born in a big way.
I became a teacher of literature, a reader of everything I could get my hands on, an apprentice of the writing process, and a coach of young blossoming writer minds.
In the meantime, I wrote a book of poetry, I tried my hand at writing an autobiographical novel depicting my life as the daughter of a bipolar father and its aftermath as I became a young wife and mother, and the beginnings of a nonfiction book about what it is like to grow up as a non-Mormon in Utah. None have been published, nor will they be.
And now, as creative editor of a paper crafting magazine and because most business is now conducted via e-mail, I communicate mostly through writing. I send hundreds of e-mails a week, each needing a clear and precise message. I write articles, I write calls for submission, I write marketing material, and now I get to write and host an entire blog.
In addition to this one.
At one point in my life, I talked about writing more than I was actually doing it. One day, my mom took me aside and said, very poignantly, "Catherine, writers write."
So if that's the definition, I guess I'm there. I'm not a published author (except for a few articles in an industry trade magazine), but I'm writing most of every day now, and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity.