“Why Did You Become a Writer?”

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This is a common question posed by friends, acquaintances, and relatives. It’s a difficult question to answer however because I can’t pinpoint the exact moment my love for writing started.

I know that writers always start as readers. I can confirm this as I became an avid reader at a young age. My mom read to my sister and I constantly and as a child I devoured all of the Babysitter’s Club books and Sweet Valley High. When I hit my pre-teens I started nicking my mother’s Danielle Steele novels. As I got older, I read articles in local newspapers as well as teen girl and women’s magazines like Teen, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. My mother went back to school when I was a teenager, and she would bring home the college’s magazines and those found a way into my hands as well. Perhaps reading a wide range of topics from different writers sparked the flame. I studied writing styles and adapted my style from writers I admired.

When I was ten, my elementary school celebrated Earth Day. One of our activities assigned by the teacher was to write a poem. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Sawa, told the class that a few students’ work would be chosen for the school newsletter. I wrote a poem using the letters from “peace” to write what I considered peace. A few days later, Mrs. Sawa told me my poem would be featured in the next newsletter. Writing was something I enjoyed but I didn’t feel confident in my abilities. Being recognized by the school helped build up me build up my confidence manifold.

It wasn’t until I turned 26 that I realized my love of writing could be turned into a career. I started freelancing for different companies and landed a full-time in-house position as a content writer for a travel website, after that I wrote for a state college’s international program, and now I am working as a copywriter for an electronics company. I, like many, writers write stories in my free time with dreams of one day getting off the hamster wheel to pursue novel writing full-time.

So going back to the question and the title of this entry, the simple answer is I became a writer because I enjoy reading. This is the single most important desire a writer needs to go from reading to writing.

Published by Jackqueline Lou

Writing is in my bones. I discovered this at a young age but I didn't harness this skill till I was in my late 20s. My 5th grade teacher saw my ability before I did. I always loved writing stories and poems but was too afraid to show anyone for many years. When I got my first paying job as a writer for a magazine (which I still work for), it gave me the push I needed to pursue writing full time. I started taking drama classes and doing plays as a teenager and it became a world I could escape into to cope with my crippling anxiety and depression. Like writing, creating a character of my own making formed artistic outlets and new forms of expression and autonomy for me. It was freeing and I am fortunate enough to experience this and feeling fully alive through both these mediums. I am the mother to one wild but affectionate 7-year-old named Kai and we live with a black cat named Starry who acts like a dog. I work as a copywriter for an electronics company and moonlight as an aspiring novelist and actor. Thanks for visiting!

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