When you look back on your childhood, do you find glimpses of your passion for your current calling?
I’m finding them, and it’s a fascinating review.
The love of writing has always been part of my life, when I think of it now, but I never gave thought to pursuing writing as a career. No teacher ever directed me towards writing. My mother was grooming me to become a lawyer. I finally started to take my writing seriously only a few years ago, when I was in my late forties. Yet, putting ideas down on paper has always been my favorite and most rewarding activity.
As a child, I didn’t think about being a writer. I just wrote.
When I see Marvel Comics movies, like The Avengers, I remember the comic books my siblings and I would create. A pencil, a piece of paper, and our imaginations were the tools we used for our superhero world. We held paper against a window pane to trace drawings from real comic books and put our own words into the speech bubbles.
Using my father’s old typewriter, my siblings and I published a newspaper for a fictional town. We’d make up stories about local crime or review the newest cereal, and we’d include a comic strip and the weather report. Then we’d cut and paste (literally) and be proud of our work.
While attending a summer camp, I wrote, directed, and starred in a play that I called Stuck Foot. It was my first and only play. I wrote it because the camp counselor needed something for the final night. The success of that play stoked my 12-year-old ego, but it wasn’t because I was proud of my writing. I liked the warmth of the limelight.
My family is full of musicians, and I was writing silly song lyrics at an early age. In my teens, though, I decided on a singing career. I picked up a guitar, taught myself to play, and began writing pop songs — which, when you get down to it, are really three-minute stories.
School Newspaper and Yearbook Staff
When I look back now, I see that junior high school is when my love for writing flourished. I joined my friends in these extracurricular activities, but my real focus (secretly) was on that singing dream. I had no thoughts of myself being a “writer”. Yet there I was in the thick of it as I submitted articles, came up with photo captions, and enjoyed being part of a creative team of budding writers.
Reports and Essay Questions
There was no schoolwork I relished more than reports. I loved the organization and work outside the classroom that they required. Book reports, research reports – bring ‘em on. And the topic didn’t matter; it was the process I enjoyed. I felt like I was using the teacher’s questions to create a work of art. And I carried that childhood love into my college years. For me, it was a waste of good thinking time when midterms and finals consisted of multiple choice questions only. Give me essay questions. Having to carry a blue book into an exam ensured I would have time to show what I learned in a way that I enjoyed.
In retrospect, I see now that the call of “writer” had been whispered my way throughout my childhood. Was I ignoring that Voice? Or is recognizing it now a confirmation of what I’m doing today?
What examples do you have of an early love for your calling in life?