Note: Today’s post is courtesy of a prompt from “642 Things to Write About“. Today’s prompt is: “Why you write.”
I was flipping through the “642 Things” book this morning when I realized I’d forgotten to write today’s post, and this was the prompt that I randomly flipped to. It made me chuckle a little because of all the 642 prompts in this book, this is probably the easiest one for me to answer.
It all started (she said, ceremoniously) when I was in the third grade, and it started in an odd kind of way. You see, one night I was having trouble sleeping. I must have gotten out of bed and been playing with my toys or something, because I woke up my father. He came in my room to tuck me back into bed and I complained to him that I couldn’t get to sleep. I can remember, plain as day, he told me to close my eyes and just think about my day, play it in my head like a movie, and eventually I’d drift to sleep. I nodded and he went back to his room, and I closed my eyes. But I didn’t think about my day. I thought about more fantastical things. I imagined myself in a crazy story, with monsters and heroes and lots of fun and danger. And eventually, I fell asleep.
That became my nighttime routine. Every night I would imagine myself in a “movie” in my head. Sometimes I’d be fighting alongside my favorite superheroes, sometimes I’d be the damsel in distress, and sometimes I’d just think of the craziest thing I could imagine. I enjoyed making up these stories in my head so much that sometimes I’d wake up in the morning actually excited to get to bed that night.
Then I found a better outlet, thanks to a school assignment. We were to write an original short story, paste it on construction paper, draw a cover, and bind it all together. I nailed that assignment, let me tell you. I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what the story was about, but I can tell you that I called it, “The Mystery of the Emerald-Eyed Cat”, and I drew two creepy green cat eyes on my cover, and I got an excellent grade.
That was the first real story I ever wrote, and it started one hell of a lifelong desire. In those early days, and for many years afterward, I mostly wrote stories featuring myself and my friends, because I was basically writing down my nighttime “movies”, but as time went on I moved on to fan-fiction and more professional fiction as well, and the rest is pretty much history.
So why exactly do I write? Because, to be honest, I’m still that little girl laying in bed trying to get to sleep. It may sound funny to people who have trouble sleeping because they think too much, but I still lull myself to sleep by telling myself stories in my head, and these days those stories are the scenes for the books that I write. Playing those thoughts and ideas through my head every night is something that I think I’ll always do, and as a result I think that I’ll always write because since that first story I’ve always felt the need to get the thoughts out of my head and onto the paper. ❤