This week I'm participating in Christine Tyler's blogfest and talking about who and what made me decide to be a writer.
I've mentioned before being painfully shy growing up. It's a bit melodramatic to say, I guess, but there's a reason they call it painful. It's...painful. (See how good I am at writing down the words?? I'm a writer, yo.)
I won't go into particulars, but I pretty much tried to fake-sick my way all through first and second grade. All that shyness did wonders for my imagination, though. I couldn't manage a conversation in real life, but in my head, they were wonderful. My in-my-head friends weren't scary. The situations I imagined myself in weren't uncomfortable. Everything was sunshine cupcakes and daisy popsicles.
Maybe confessing this makes me sound nutty, or like an emerging serial killer, but it's not like I was imagining myself rocking in the middle of a white room, surrounded by my mother. In my head, I was brave. I was strong. In my head, on the first day of school when the teacher inevitably came to my name on the roll and asked how to pronounce it, I could jump up on the desk and shout, "It's JEIGH! Like sleigh and weigh and neigh!!" instead of whispering, "It's just Jeigh," and having to repeat myself five times in my whisper-voice while all the kids stared at me in that annoying and nosy way all kids stare.
Surprisingly, the summer before high school, at a camp for the young women in my church, I just decided one day that I didn't want to be shy anymore. So I wasn't. I got out there and dorked it up in my own, special way and made a ton of new friends. But I never forgot that living in my head was a fine alternative when real life was scary or boring.
It may not have been a defining moment in wanting to be a writer, but every writer needs a kick-a imagination first, right?