The beginnings of a career in writing

Published 10:22 pm Monday, April 27, 2009

The story in Sunday’s edition of The Clanton Advertiser titled “Young authors honored” brought back memories. I attended Young Authors conferences while at Thompson Elementary School. We visited the University of Montevallo for the conferences, and, from what I can remember, many different schools were represented.

I can’t recall if my books, the second of which was about a ghost that haunted a house, placed. Probably not. I think I was a decent writer for my age, but my illustrations, like they would be if I tried to draw something today, were atrocious.

But I do remember the conferences were positive experiences, and they probably had more than a little bit to do with the profession I chose. The encouragement provided by the conferences—and, more importantly, my elementary school teachers—was a critical part of me having the confidence that I could put words together in a way that would be appealing for someone else to read.

My elementary school experiences yielded a grade school and college student that enjoyed writing even if the rest of the class moaned and groaned about the paper that was due in a couple of weeks. The end result has been someone that writes every day and for a living.

Like every other job, I imagine, writing for me is now routine, something I don’t think much about beyond “this is what needs to be done, how can I get it done.”

But the story about the Clanton Intermediate School students just beginning what will be, I hope, a fulfilling lifetime of writing makes me remember just why I do what I do each day.