A recent visitor to my website asked, “Why do you write? I see you have great experience and awareness but I’m curious about something I didn’t see. WHY do you write?”
My dream was to be a singer until I heard my voice, which led to dancing. Not. Two left feet!
Seriously…as long as I can remember I have loved to write. It’s in my DNA. When I was 10, I’d go to work with my father―a writer and editor for one of the local newspapers―on Saturday. I’d stand next to him as we watched the pressmen place the metal pieces of type on the linotype press. The huge cylinders would spin at lightning speed, transferring the ink on to the large sheets of paper. I can still remember the smell of the ink and the sight of my father overseeing the “run” with that thick black charcoal pencil tucked behind his ear. (BTW: I still use those pencils!)
If that wasn’t enough, my mother was a kindergarten teacher and wrote poetry. Reading was an important part of family life. We even had a library in our house.
I always knew I wanted to be just like them. I wanted to be a writer. Writing became my passion. I wrote stories, poems and letters and kept journals. I would write on napkins, matchbook covers, little scraps of paper—whatever was nearby when an idea popped into my head.
In 1993, I started The Ys One Writing Service. What began as a part-time venture has evolved into a full-time business. Instead of newspaper articles, press releases and reports, I’m writing blog posts, website content, eBlasts, eBooks and video scripts.
For me, it’s never been work or what I do. It’s who I am. My love for writing and words, along with the satisfaction I get from seeing how those words affect, inform, change, move and influence people, is why I continue to write.
Today, I’m an award-winning writer and editor. I didn’t get here by myself. I had help. My father was my mentor, coach and biggest supporter. He encouraged me to follow my dream and my heart and to do what I love most—write. He also pushed me to be more than I ever thought I could be. He once told me words do more than plant miracle seeds and with my writing them, they can change the world. I still believe that.
My father is gone but his spirit lives on in me. He helped me overcome my fear of taking a chance and putting my writing–and my story–out there.
Now I want to pay it forward. I want to help others with their writing the way my father helped me, especially those who aspire to writing a book.
To this day, every time I do battle with writer’s block or my confidence waivers I hear his voice in my ear.
“Sit yourself down and write…write…write.”
So I do.