We've all written. Some of us started making up stories early, others came to it a little later. And for a few of us, it's been an obsession.
That's me. The obsessed one. As I've mentioned, books were always my friends. Add an imagination that apparently began before I can remember, and that late night reading by nightlight, it's no wonder. By the time I learned how to put all those things together, I wrote.
I wrote plays, and I wrote letters to my five penpals, never missing a beat. I was the one who made up the pretend games we played and insisted we stick to the "script." In sixth grade, reading a book and writing a paper on it was heaven for me. I learned about Amelia Earhart, James A. Naismith, and Helen Keller. In high school, my favorite class was English, especially Senior English, which consisted of more reading and writing.
It wasn't until I was eighteen and bought a secondhand portable typewriter from a friend that I sat down to write my first book. And what a book! Most of it was written on onion skin paper. (Anybody remember that?) Like Joan, I had no idea where the story was going, but I just kept typing and typing. The stack of paper when I was finished was a good three inches tall--all single spaced. Mistakes? Who cared! I'd written a book. I'd met my goal of writing a book. Not that it was a good book, but I'd done it.
Years of family and crafts passed, and my oldest daughters, in middle school, started reading The Babysitters Club books. After reading one, I decided I could do better, (ha ha) so I started reading middle reader and YA books. And I started writing them, even taking a correspondence course (by mail), to help me "hone my craft." Before I finished the second course, family issues pulled me away, and I put writing aside, thinking someday I'd get back to it.
Fast forward a few more years, and I was reading romance and thought it might be fun to give writing one a try. It was! And so it began. A year or so and several manuscripts later, I discovered RWA. Another four years later, and I sold my first book to Silhouette/Harlequin.
I write because that's what I've always done. Twenty-one manuscripts, fourteen of them published, and I still keep on writing. I've thought about quitting. I sometimes miss the things I put aside so I could write, but characters continue to appear in my mind--and won't stop talking, so the only way to keep them quiet is to write their stories. An obsession? Probably. Besides, I enjoy it. I am a writer.