I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, when I didn’t have a narrator in my head turning my actions into sentences, when I wasn’t full of story ideas, when I didn’t itch to pick up a pencil and use my hand to form words on paper, when my favorite toy wasn’t my grandmother’s electric typewriter.
Each morning, my friends waited for me to deliver the spiral notebook I’d filled the night before with the next installment of our saga, the serial adventures of glamorous, grown-up versions of ourselves, intricately, confusingly, soapily plotted together at lunchtime or in the notes we passed during class.
With my mother’s encouragement, I transformed a walk-in closet into a writing space and spent most of the two years I took off between high school and college sitting on the floor with my typewriter, producing hundreds of pages of unfinished novels.
Years of grad school dulled my love of writing, as I bent and twisted clarity into something opaque and difficult and properly academic.
My writing comes in fits and starts now, held in a shelf of writer’s notebooks, a computer file of unfinished stories and essays, and the occasional output on this blog, but there is never a time when I am not forming sentences in my head that long to be written.