Books have always fascinated me. Ask my close friends, family members, and acquaintances. I will always stress that books have a significant impact on my life. They always will. They have taught me several things:
First: That words mean everything to me. They absolutely do. They leave me in wonder like lines and shapes leave a painter or drawer in wonder. To me, words are like paint, chalk, pastels, or drawing pencils. They are the artistic utensils to use when you create a story just like painters or drawers use pastels or pencils to create a visual picture. Words have changed the world. Words have helped soothe people. Words have help me see how I really am. Words have helped me to see who I really am. Words have a stunning impact on how people act, say, or behave with themselves and each other. Words are the tool I used to express myself and learn about myself.
Second: Stories mean everything to me. The one story that changed my life was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. It happened in my 11th grade college prep literature class. One reason this book changed my life is because it shattered the stereotype that literature is a bunch of old boring books. Old fashioned stories. What The Great Gatsby did was allow me to enter a world that seemed so modern; it also helped me realize that literature has timeless tales. I was intrigued by Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and Daisy Buchanan, and Tom Buchanan. For the first time, I saw love and scandal in a form of beautiful prose. The Great Gatsby solidified for me that literature isn’t what I was told that it was: BORING AND OLD. Second, why The Great Gatsby has so much significance for me is because of my classmate Daniel. I made a criticism about Daisy, and I cannot remember what I exactly said about that character. Yet, Daniel looked at me in a newfound way: with respect. He was a student who went from a geek/nerd to a cool, wild preppy boy who lost a lot of weight. However, he looked at me differently that day. He looked at me as I belong in that class with him. That we were equals. So, stories…can bond people. Stories can bring people together. Stories can influence people to see others differently, situations differently, and yourself differently. For that, I will always be grateful for this novel. I owe a lot to it because it helped affirmed for me that I will be a writer. I will always be a writer. Most importantly, I will always be a reader.
Third: Books showed me that writing means everything to me. Reading makes writing possible. Writers who write books who become authors…who become literate storytellers make writing possible. For me, reading and writing are tied together. They are interconnected and interrelated. You can learn a lot from reading different types of writings, different styles of writings, and different techniques of writing. Reading gives readers/writers the ability to see what the value of writing is…and how you can contribute, as a writer, to this large club of writers. Whether we write publicly or privately, we are writing. And somewhere in there, we can learn more about ourselves than we know.
So, the beginnings of me becoming a writer start with books. The library. Dictionaries. R.L. Stine. Diane Hoh. Stephen King. Robin Cook. Toni Morrison. Wally Lamb. It is the learning experience of being in the rapture of reading. Reading the stories. Learning from how authors create and to maturing and venturing out into other genres of reading tastes. Now, I have been exposed to many wonderful high brow authors, middle brow authors, and low brow authors. We need all those types of brows because people like reading certain kind of brows…and certain kind of genres…and certain kind of authors.
So, the beginnings of me wanting to be a writer has to do with reading. It has to do with believing that words are vital. That words DO MATTER. They matter, and they matter to the writer for that is how we writers express ourselves. One of my professors shared with his students once that your own writings shows WHO YOU ARE. That you are someone who can look at your writing and see what you are thinking. For me, that’s what writing is about. Writing, whether it is fiction or nonfiction is about who I am. It is about what I see. It keeps the inner child in my well and alive. It keeps me sane. It has saved my life on more occasions in every way possible. It has helped me to learn about myself and love myself more than I could ever.
Writing is here. Writing is now. Writing is me. It is the path to my salvation. It is the path to my redemption.
Sophia Muriel Flemming