A theme I've seen floating around the blogsophere of late is, why do we write? What drives us?
And it got me to thinking.
Although he never lost his passion.
When I hit my teenage years he would bend the ears of my nieces and nephews, and they loved it just at the same as I did.
(I was an aunt quite young, my first niece was born when I was 7 - it is the result of being the youngest of 8 siblings.)
So I guess my Dad is a quite a big driving force for me. When I was about 10 I had a piece of homework that was to write a summary of a story we had been told in class. And since we weren't given a specific length to abide by, I wrote the longest, 13 pages! Which was like me writing a novel in comparison to my classmates.
I remember my teacher (who I adored) telling my Dad that she stopped marking half way through because she was so engrossed and astounded. My Dad smiled and said, well she does like to ramble on.
I was always writing snippets of stories and fan fictions through my teens. However it was always a back burner while I went out with my new 'cool' friends (who have stayed my closest friends since - best in fact) and dived into my time at college where I studied theatre.
My whole live seemed to be more or less devoted to those two things.
(And writing was always the hobby that didn't cost me much, except the price of pen and paper, and since money has always been tough it seemed like the best pastime when I couldn't afford to go out.)
Then a week after I turned 18, my Dad sadly passed away. And even though he had been ill most of my life, it was a tremendous shock when he departed.
Even now some days are harder than others.
I was a bit lost for a while, trapped somewhere with only my grief and mind for company. Those were some dark days.
One day I got to writing a story about a young girl who loses her Dad, and she meets a guy who she begins to fall for, but it turns out he has a big secret. Bigger than anything she could ever imagine.
And needless to say that story became free counselling sessions for me.
I do still one day to hope to share it with others when I finally finish it.
That story also gave me something else, it made me realise how much I love writing, and why hadn't I thought about doing something with it before?
It opened my mind, my imagination to stories I didn't even know I had in me. I found the fantastical tales I had always longed to write, but never thought myself capable.
And I've been writing everyday, with a passion, ever since.
It also helped strengthen the relationship with my Mum, because of those words we both understood the pain we were sharing, without the need to say it out loud.
Now she is my first reader, greatest critic, and the person who encourages me each and every day to follow my dreams.
One day I hope to help her achieve hers.
And as much as I long to see my words in print, want others to read about the worlds and characters I've created, I will never lose the love and inner peace writing has given me.There will always be work, mainly my poems, that I will keep for myself because they mean so much to me, but there is so much more of me I want to give and share with others.
Is there a reason you write? What keeps you going?