When did I become a writer?
I mean, what was the exact moment the spark was ignited for
I’ve always known it was early. And I’ve tried to remember over the years when it was exactly that I fell in love with words, and when I began to dream of creating my own magical mix of them myself.
But it wasn’t until tonight, when I was reading my kids their bedtime story, that it hit me like a…well, like a light going on in the attic.
The poems of Shel Silverstein bring up such a nostalgic love of writing for me. I thought I had probably been around eight years old when the writing bug began to blossom, but now I’m fairly certain it was earlier than that. Reading this particular poem tonight, I saw a flashback of myself when I was probably six or seven, not much older than my daughter is now at 5 1/2, when I was not only reading this same book, but also tracing the letters and pictures on my own paper. I remember how obsessed I was with this book. With all his books.
His poems are funny, whimsical and lyrical in a way that struck my little kindred spirit. But this one in particular, this one I loved for how it turned reality on its head. It says, “things might not be what they seem.” It says, “things might in fact be the exact opposite of what they seem.”
It’s that kind of profound truth that just kills me about great writing.
And what a gift it was to be reminded, by my own children, of the moment I became a writer.