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Becoming a writer (for me) didn’t happen overnight; but, the seeds were planted at an early age. As a young kid, I felt different, acted different, and was treated different. Why? Because of my inability to communicate with the world around me. In fact, my Kindergarten teacher approached my parents to have me pulled from school as I was deemed as “unteachable.”
This all occurred during the mid-1970s in rural upstate New York. My parents had just spent two years taking me to various specialists all across the state as well as Vermont; but, no one could definitively find what was wrong with me. In the end, they told my parents that I had behavioral issues which should be directed at a psychiatrist.
Faced with one school unable to teach me, they decided to have an audiologist, Aubrey, to check me out as a second opinion. She discovered that I had moderate hearing loss in both ears (over 65% loss) due to nerve damage.
After being fitted with hearing aids, I spent the next two years attending speech therapy in an effort to get me “caught up” as I was quite behind in speech development. School was still a challenge not just in learning; but with having friends. As a loner with maybe one or two good friends, I spent much of my free time with imaginary friends and creating various scenarios and settings for myself. The only thing these tend to get me in trouble; one time it actually landed me in the ER!
In 5th grade, a classmate challenged a bunch of us to a contest to see who could write the scariest story. I concocted one about a girl going into an old house and discovering a decapitated head in a fridge. Everyone seemed truly unnerved by that one. 🙂
Just watching everyone’s reaction to my story made me feel good about myself for once; like I was actually good at something. I also found that writing enabled me to bring the stuff I had in my head to life on a piece of paper. Not to mention that it was much safer!
This one experience planted the seed within me to become the writer I am today.
What about you? How did you become a writer?