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Like so many individuals before me, persons with active imaginations and decent grades in high school English, I set out to try this thing called writing.
Some always knew they were writers. I admire that they always saw it in themselves. I think that if I could say the same for myself, I might feel more confident setting out on this voyage. As it is, I'm like an alien on a strange planet and the inhabitants are called Writers.
The written word is the language spoken there and that's what drew me, made me think that maybe Writing is a place I belong. However, the only "creative writing" ever required of me dates back to elementary school. Plus I was totally a late bloomer realizing the fantastic truth that the written word is more than a means to and end, i.e., research papers, recipes, driving directions. I was nearly an adult when I discovered that reading could be just as entertaining as other forms of media, and immeasurably more intellectually stimulating and engaging.
Then the more I read, the more I began to have story and characters ideas. I'd write them down in an notebook thinking, maybe, maybe some mystical day I would have the time and the focus to write; bring these thoughts to life in written word.
As that day came, however, I realized that I have a need for community. I figured if I wanted to be better, heck maybe even be good, I would need other people who are on this side of the curtain with me. That's when I began to make first contact with these creatures, these Writers, through internet and local amateur publications.
Intimidating. As with any subject, any field, once you crack open the surface and look around, you realize how much more complicated it is than you could ever have imagined. And it's scary as heck.
Again I compare it to visiting another country. I've known people who are a generation or so removed from immigrating to this country. They visit the country of their family and experience a doubt at first: they understand the language, but can they speak it? That's me.
So here we go. With humility and humor, and a certain brand of confidence that those two traits inspire, I'm going for it. I don't know if I am kin to these creatures, these Writers. The least that can happen is that I gain an even more profound appreciation for all the writing that I so greatly enjoy reading. Not so bad, right?
The written word: I know the language, but an I speak it? For now it's enough that life and a relatively decent education have given me this particular gift: a passport to Write.