That initial impulse

I’ve often wondered how writers get that initial impulse to begin writing. I read about one author whose childhood experience of having her voice literally silenced when singing happy birthday to a family member (by a thoughtless and unsuspecting aunt) created a burning desire to “have her voice heard.” Needless to say, she became a writer. Another author said that she was always interrupted and corrected by others who “knew better.” So it got me thinking. What planted the urge to write in my own psyche?

My family, bless their souls, (and this doesn’t negate the fact that I love them to pieces), has an annoying habit of silencing my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. They even have the nerve to assume that there’s only one way to do things–their way. I’ve been interrupted countless times and told that they know the only right way. Besides being infuriating and unfair, it has created within me the strong desire to have my thoughts and ideas, my voice, heard.

Then there was the time, when I was a sensitive and impressionable child, that a family member issued a barrage of unwarranted criticisms about a paper my sister had written for school. This was (and is!) my twin sister. I experienced it vicariously. And even though I was only a witness and not the actual victim, it still had an impact on me. It made me want to prove to the world that I wouldn’t be silenced, that I wouldn’t be defeated by another’s criticism. And I’ve a sneaking suspicion, even though there’s always the struggle within, that I never will be.

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