Why I Write

From the first day my elementary school teacher read my essay to the class, I was bitten by the writing bug.  I continued to write throughout elementary school and in to high school, where my classmates humored me and helped inflate my ego by asking for more of the silly love stories I wrote.

With my exit from high school and entrance into the world of work ended all my attempts, but not my  dreams,  of becoming a writer. Oh, I still wanted to be a journalist and a novelist more than anything, but I followed the safe path and chose a teaching career like most of my friends had. Eventually, my dreams of becoming a writer became buried under my triple roles of teacher, wife and mother.

Then one day, I received a call from one of my classmates who had migrated to Canada. During the conversation she asked me if I was still writing. Taken aback, I said I wasn’t. No one had mentioned that word to me in years. She went on to say, “Well, you should. You were very creative.”

Her words stuck with me until years later when I migrated to the United States. I was determined to wipe the dust off my hidden dreams and give them another try. I entered Community College and almost immediately my English professor was reading my essays to the class. She encouraged me to enter a contest, which I did. There was only one prize and it went to someone else, but the college magazine published my short story titled, A Pair of Blue Skates. The following year, I entered a nationwide contest and won an honorable mention. My professors were proud of me, but I felt I could have done better.

Community College came to an end and I entered the occupational therapy undergraduate program at a local university. Two grueling years of study followed, during which I once again had to shelve my writing goals. I attempted a few stories and even took a short Writer’s Digest course, but my new career and new life excluded any type of meaningful writing.

However, even though I chose not to go into the writing field, the fires of my dream still burnt brightly. In 2002, I began writing Coming Out of Egypt, my first serious work, while publishing a few short articles for ezines. I joined an online critique group which really helped me hone my novel-writing skills. Some of the members and I are friends to this day and we have formed our own writing group.

Occupational therapy has served me well. It has provided me with marketable skills, with which I earn a good living, but even more, I can write expertly on health-related topics which are much needed in today’s marketplace.  I plan to retire soon and devote most of my time to writing. I am comfortable writing fiction as well as non-fiction. In fact, I am about to self-publish my first non-fiction, Women For All Seasons, a short creative work on women of the Bible.

I love the art of writing and everything associated with it. Reading, researching, editing, networking with other writers and even spending hours alone. For me, to write is to live. To soar above the mundane activities of everyday life and connect with the innermost recesses of my being, and with my Creator. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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