I think it’s fitting that I explain now why I’m writing, whom I am writing to, and what I’m trying to accomplish. I suppose it all comes in the form of a story, as do most of the things I write about. This one starts a really long time ago.
When I was young my Mom couldn’t keep the house supplied with enough paper, scissors, and tape. I was often taking paper, cutting it up, and taping it back together in various forms. Then I would color it or do with it what I pleased. Most of the time I made little books and drew pictures in them. During one instance I invested a day into copying an edition of Martha Speaks into a cut-and-taped paperback book that I had created. I loved that fact that I could flip through something I had made and read the words I had written down. It didn’t matter to me that the work wasn’t actually my own, I was proud of it.
A few years later in elementary school I was part of Beat Street, the program that my school ran for kids that wanted to “publish” their own books. I wrote and illustrated two during my first few years. I don’t remember what they were called but I vividly remember the pictures. One was about a rainbow, and the other was about my zebra beanie baby getting lost at a circus.
In 5th grade we were required to make an Autobiography, and in 6th grade we wrote and illustrated a children’s book. On the side, I wrote in my journal fairly consistently and often wrote poetry. It seemed like I was writing all the time. I was good at math and understood science well enough, but I loved to write. English wasn’t necessarily my favorite subject (I think P.E. was in middle school, but that was everyone’s favorite) but I knew how to write. In 7th grade I won an in class competition for who could write the best patriotic poem.
Middle school finished, and I entered the local high school. My English class was dominated by technology. We had fishbowl discussions by commenting on a blog and we were required to have a blog of our own, of which I’ve long since deleted. The transition from paper to word document never appealed to me, and I continued to journal in a notebook. Junior year I compiled a collection of my favorite writings from the year. The project was a requirement and a lot of work, but every once and a while I enjoy going back through my binder and reading everything I wrote.
My favorite things to write were the things I made up, or got creative control over. I’ve always been a thorough essay writer, but my biggest passion was creative writing, which is why it has become my intended major. When I was younger I wanted to be a waitress, a major league baseball player, a teacher, a vet, an astronaut… a lot of different things that didn’t pertain to writing. Yet, here I am attempting to get a creative writing degree.
Some of you are probably thinking this doesn’t have anything to do with why she started the blog. I promise, it does.
This past summer before I left for school I was a nanny for Tricia, the widowed mother of two darling boys. I learned a lot of things that summer, including the fact that I wanted to be able to write like Tricia someday. She had a blog of her own and I read it every single day. (Her current blog is The Thoughts and Writings of Tricia Lott Williford. You should read it, she's going to be an author someday.) Not once did it cross my mind that I should start my own blog. Blogging had always been something I was required to do throughout high school, and I found it miserable that entire time.
The week I was leaving for school my family invited Tricia and the boys over for dinner. I wanted to be able to spend time with the three of them and my family before I left.
After the boys and some of my younger siblings left the table, my parents and I began to talk to Tricia about her life and how the writing process for her book had been. She had ideas for one and was starting to put it into form, and I was extremely curious how everything was going.
The conversation shifted slightly and I found that Tricia’s next comment pertained directly to me. “If you want someone to pick you up as a writer someday, you need to be writing every day and they need to see that. Elisabeth, I highly suggest that you start a blog.”
If I was going to listen to anyone about such a matter, it was Tricia. I admired her, and still do, in more ways than I can count. That night I created No Mercy for Mosquitoes and wrote my first blog post. I felt silly writing something the whole world could see since I had no idea how anyone would react. It’s amazing how far I’ve come. It’s natural. It’s a habit.
And I’m writing my hundredth post… wow. I have 18 followers and will hopefully gain more. People from more than 30 different countries have read my blog and I have more than 7,000 page views in total. This had gone way further than I ever thought it would.
I want to keep writing. (I know that I will.)
I really hope that I write something long enough to be called a book someday.
So that is why I’m blogging. It’s practice. And I love it.