I’m on a busy schedule today, so I thought I’d post something from the Wayback Machine for Throwback Thursday. Here’s a blog post I wrote back in May of 2013, about how I became a writer. Enjoy!
MY PATH TO BECOMING A WRITER
By Elizabeth Delisi
Like many authors, my path to becoming a writer began with my mother reading to me and my sister every night. We looked forward to it so much—it was one of our favorite times of day. Mom read us longer books as we got old enough, like “Black Beauty” and “Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates.”
So by the time I was in first grade, I was already primed. One day, a little girl in my class decided to write a story instead of doing her spelling assignment. The teacher praised her effort and read her story to the class. Intrigued, I raised my hand and said I wanted to write a story instead of doing my spelling, too. Unfortunately, my teacher said, “No.” Undeterred, I wrote a story anyway; but I also did my spelling assignment.
Fast-forward to middle school. With a burgeoning interest in boys, I decided to write a book about a girl and her boyfriend. Wish fulfillment, I guess. I actually wrote forty or fifty pages before giving up. I don’t know what happened to my first attempt at a novel; perhaps lost in a move. I’m sure it was tedious, but it would be nice to have it!
In high school, when one of my teachers would say, “I’d like you to write a paper,” everyone groaned. Everyone except me, that is. I was delighted, as I knew not only was writing fun, but also I knew I’d get a good grade. A win-win situation!
One of my high school English teachers praised my writing and urged me to consider it as a career. Up till then, I’d enjoyed writing and known I was good at it, but hadn’t considered it as a potential job. She put that thought in my head, and it’s never left.
College brought a lot more writing. In particular, I remember enjoying very much two papers I wrote: one about the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, and the other about the American religious group, the Shakers. I even made a “Shaker Pie” from an original Shaker recipe to go with that paper. Who says writing isn’t fun?
In my twenties, I focused mainly on writing short stories. I was working full-time and married, and didn’t have much time to write. I figured it was better to write something I could finish in one or two sessions, rather than a story that would take ages to complete. That’s also when I started submitting for publication, garnering an impressive number of polite rejection letters.
On or about age thirty, I decided to try writing a romance novel. I started out thinking it would be easy, but boy, was I wrong. It took a lot of effort, planning, writing and rewriting. Oh, and there was no computer back then…I was writing on a typewriter, so rewriting usually meant retyping, at a minimum, all the pages to the end of the chapter. No “delete” button!
When I was working on my romance, the rest of the world disappeared. I’d look up and find hours had passed without me noticing. I’m sorry to say, I even forgot to pick up my kids from school one day until they called and said, “Mom? Are you coming to get us?”
From there, my story becomes more mundane…read, read, read. Write, write, write. Submit, submit, submit. Until one day, oh joy of joys…an acceptance letter! (Well, in a sign of the times, it was an acceptance e-mail.) And the rest, as they say, is history.
Writing will never make me rich, but it’s been a wonderful part of my life since childhood, and I’d never want to give it up. It gives me great joy to do, and even more, hearing from readers that they liked my stories. And that’s what counts, right?