I have loved the written word as long as I knew it existed. One of my favourite early memories is of accompanying my mother to the grocery store and reading as many Little Golden Books as possible while she paid for her purchases. Yes, in those days ,children’s books were displayed next to the checkout line. If I was lucky, Mom would agree to buy me a book and I’d choose one I hadn’t yet perused.
All my life I’ve loved books, even just the experience of holding a new book or filing it proudly in my home library. I’ve taken pleasure in being read to and discovering reading for myself. In elementary and high school, I lived for composition classes, English classes, anything to do with the written word (actually, anything other than math or science). With the encouragement of school assignments, I realized a certain aptitude for words and their power to communicate, educate, encourage, and influence.
I must insert here that I believe reading and being read to are not only invaluable but absolutely necessary to developing a sense of the power of words. The more we read, the more we learn about writing.
But reading does not a writer make. Nor does publication. Only writing makes a person a writer.
When my son was in school, I delighted in reading his writing assignments and noting his imagination and love for the written word.
As my grandchildren have come along, I’ve read to them, encouraged them to read, and taken great joy in watching them devour books. One of my granddaughters loves collecting and writing in her journals.
The love of writing needs to be encouraged, practiced, cultivated. It’s a precious gift that gives voice to our expression. It lets us share with others our knowledge, experience, and values. Writing releases in us the ability to influence our society for the good. My prayer is that we who write will not take our privilege lightly nor forget the responsibility that goes with it.
Janice L. Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.