Kids today have it so good.
To touch a key and have letters and words magically appear on a screen, then to be able to Find and Replace at will, to Cut and Paste whole paragraphs instantly, to delete entire pages, to Save to the Cloud….
Little Debbie would have loved that!
Sadly, such technology didn’t exist when I was a kid just flexing my writing muscles.
I remember the summer I was twelve or thirteen (I think) when I decided to write a novel.
I took a stack of lined, three-holed paper — the kind we used in class — and a sharpened pencil, and then I began to write. Before I knew it, I’d filled several pages with fictionalized accounts of my life, and that of my friends, from school.
I refused to share my writing with another soul. In fact, I didn’t tell any of my friends I’d started a novel. But I worked on it regularly, adding vignettes and characters, filling up blank pages with words.
How I loved the feeling of being a real writer!
By summer’s end, I had my first Work In Progress. It wasn’t finished, of course. And it didn’t have much of a story arc; nor would it hold the riveted attention of anybody other than me.
But it was time for another year of school to begin. Homework, activities, friends … all conspired to draw me away from my opus.
So I tied a red ribbon through the holes to hold the pages together in order, and I tucked it away in my closet.
Since then, I’ve written several novels — I call them “throw-aways” — that won’t see publication.
I’m okay with that. Experts claim we must write a minimum of 10,000 words before any of what we write is worthwhile, and I imagine they’re spot on.
I’m sure I’d find it awful to wade through my early efforts today (if I could even find the manuscript!), but we’ve all got to start somewhere.
Do you remember your early efforts at doing something that you love today?