Writer or professional Liar?

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After reading a few stories in the "How I became a Writer" section of my new Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul book, I've been wondering will my dream of being a writer ever come true.

I can remember having a desire to be a writer since I was able to speak. I didn't realize it at the time, but all of those exaggerated stories of my day that I would so eagerly tell my parents had a purpose. Imagination was the greatest gift that God could have ever given me (besides my sister and my sisters at heart). My tales were usually derived in an effort to capture the attention of adults who seemed too occupied with their personal lives and problems to spend time with me. As a solution to my delima, I resorted to exaggeration...also known as lying through my teeth.

Little did I know, those days of coming home with tales of my dad's affair with the cashier at wal-mart or my imaginary husband's domestic abuse were the spark of my creativity.

My parents are to blame. I was never really disciplined for my lying tongue the way most children would have been. Instead, I received my much craved attention from my parents laughter...or my father's aggravation at having to defend himself each day.

During the earlier part of my life, my parents' marriage began to crumble like an egg shell. After the birth of my little sister, I felt that I had to try harder than ever to feed my craving of attention. I created more elaborate tales of my bravery or a classmate's stupidity just to get the much desired laugh or cheer of approval.

In elementary school, teachers started directing us to write small journal entries each day on an assigned topic. At the end of the week, we were allowed a "free verse" day to write on any topic of our choosing. My imagination was free expand itself as much as possible. When I look back on them today, I laugh in amazement at how amazingly skilled I was at the age of eight in the art of lying.

In fifth grade, journals were taken much more seriously. While the majority of the class pouted in disbelief at the required one page length of our journal entries, I often wrote twice that amount in a matter of minutes.

Middle school was a huge slap of reality for me. No longer was I a friend of everyone in my class. For the first time, I felt alone. It was during the sixth grade that I began thinking heavily about suicide. I turned to my imagination to make the pain go away. With a brand new notebook, I began my first novel about a girl named "Love Bug Guts" who felt alone and unloved by her family and her friends. After chapter five, I threw it away.

That year, I must have started over six novels, each one receiving its proper burial in the trash can.

English became my favorite subject. One day, my english teacher, Ms. Johnson told us about journal entries and how aside from doing them in the classroom, we should practice writing down our feelings in notebooks at home. I didn't listen to her until the seventh grade.

One year without really feeling as if you belong can get to a person after a while. Journaling just seemed natural. For the first time, I felt my heart sigh with relief as I let all of my feelings flow out on the paper. I still get that feeling to this very day.

Writing is what keeps me grounded today. When I feel like traveling to a new world, I write about it. A long day at school can only be delt with by writing during my least favorite classes.

Writing and I have been through a lot together. We've suffered through spankings over writing thoughts that made sense at the time, calls home for failing grades due to ignoring other work, and a terrible case of Carpal Tunnel.

Despite it all, I know that no matter what happens, writing will get me through.

I encourage all of my friends to try out a form of expression. Writing is mine, but there is music, art, singing...the possiblities are endless.

Sometimes the way to find out your talent is to take a look at your flaw. My flaw is my over active imagination. However, when I think about it, where would I be without it?

~All writers are professional liars~





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