Why do I want to be a writer?

I have said for quite a few years that I want to be a writer. In all that time, however, no one that I have told has ever asked me why. To be fair, I haven’t told everyone that I’ve met…just a handful of family and close friends. Their reaction is usually something along the lines of, “That’s nice. Have you tried the sweet potatoes?” It makes me wonder if they heard me or consciously decided to bypass the idea. And now that I have spent some time thinking about the subject, I’m not sure I’ve ever put an answer into words even in the confines of my own mind.

I suppose I should start by stating the fact that I am something of an introverted loner who prefers working independently when given a choice. I get along just fine with other people but I enjoy quiet time on my own. Well, what profession could be better suited to my personality than one in which you spend hours in a world that is totally you own creation with input from no other person? It seems such a natural fit that it’s rather astonishing that it took me so long to attempt it.

Let’s move on to another fact about me. I’m obsessed with books. If my bank account and my house were both larger, I’d buy books all the time. The idea that I could have my name on one of them sends chills down my spine. To touch the letters each of the letters on the cover and then to read the “About the Author” section at the back would truly be dreams come true. I had a great-aunt who published books of poetry many years ago. I never knew her well and I regret that she didn’t live close enough for me to do so. But she has become an inspiration to me. She wrote something and had it published into books that live on now that she has gone.

So why didn’t I do it sooner? Was it a lack of confidence in myself? I would have to say that plays a huge part in it. Life dealt me some blows that took much of the wind out of my sails when I was in my twenties. It was a time I should have relished and a time I should have explored what I really wanted out of my life. I know I’m not alone in that situation but it still hurts to think about what could have been. Following close on the heels of a lack of confidence was a heaping mound of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of my own abilities, fear of success. All of it added up to keep me trapped in one spot, denying what I really wanted to do.

So, here I sit. A latecomer to the party who shows up as a few early-arriving celebrants are making an exit. A straggler who wanders in late in the evening hoping to snag a drink and maybe find something left on the buffet. Sure, some of the shine has worn off the event, but there’s still several hours to go before the plaintive cries of “last call” resonate in the ballroom. I can still sip the intoxicating elixir of inspiration and feast on the nourishing morsels of ideas for however long I am granted.  Cheers!

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