Monday, September 24, 2007

Childhood Influences (My Writing Journey, Part 2)

My writing journey really begins with my reading journey. I was one of those kids who loved going to the library. I would come home with bags and bags (I'm not kidding) of books. Not all of them were read, but there was just something about having them available to read that felt so good.

In thinking about the books I loved most as a child last night, I realized I could fill this entry with them. I particularly remember enjoying the Childhood of Famous Americans series (Will Clark, Boy in Buckskins was my favorite), the Landmark series (The Swamp Fox of the Revolution was #1), the We Were There series (the one on Pearl Harbor is vivid in my mind), as well as anything having to do with American Indians (a book on Sacajawea was a fave).

Then, of course, was the Narnia series, every Nancy Drew & Hardy boys mystery I could find, the Dr. Dolittle books, 101 Dalmatians, Robert Lawson's novels (Rabbit Hill, The Fabulous Flight, etc.), Little Women and its sequels . . .

Oh, my. I could go on and on and on!

But suffice it to say, I loved to read. The worse punishment I ever received as a child was that I couldn't read for a week. It was torture! :)

This love of reading I am sure was what inspired me to pick up pen and put it to paper. Or more accurately, start typing on my Dad's Sharp Word Processor. My first stories almost always featured animals. One story I wrote I called "The Circus Animals" about some dogs who were setting up a ham radio antennae and upsetting all the cats who didn't understand what it was. They say write what you know . . . well, I was studying for my ham radio license.

My next "epic" was called "The Horse's Story" and was about Joshua of the Bible's horse. His name was Loopter, and I never finished more than a couple chapters, but oh I had great plans for it!

As I look back on my early years venturing into writing, I realize how God instilled these desires in me from an early age. That's what I believe---often the desires and interests we had as children really are the things we are meant to do as adults. So if you're wondering about your calling, try looking back to when you were a kid. Those innocent, unadulterated desires just might help to point you in the right direction now that you're older.

What did you always want to be when you grew up? For those of you writers reading this, when did you first realize you wanted to write?


Rel said...

Ok, can you beat this one? I loved reading so much one day my parents found me in the shower holding a book outside the shower door so I could keep reading but keep the book dry - LOL!!! That was how much I loved to read - hehehehe!

C.J. Darlington said...

And you STILL love to read! Aren't you glad you didn't lose that desire? :)