My story about becoming a writer is about vocabulary words, my mother, a teacher and a smile.
Becoming A Writer My Story About Storytelling
“Billy blew briskly…”
Those words set me on my course to becoming a writer. I was in third grade and my teacher’s name was Mrs. Bradley. She had given the class five new vocabulary words, requiring us to use three of them in a creative story. From the list of vocabulary words, I used brisk, inconceivable and inflate. With my story completed, I waited in the line that formed in front of her desk.
Bursting with pride, when my turn came, I watched Mrs. Bradley read my paper. Her eyebrows lifted, her eyes widened, and then something caused the most delightful expression to pass over her face. The suspense threatened to topple me over, but I waited for her critique.
My Teacher on My Story
She said, “I like the way you used those three B’s all in a row. Unfortunately, you used one of your vocabulary words incorrectly. Do you know which one?”
I don’t know if my expression gave away my thoughts, but I suppose it hadn’t. “Who would use a word incorrectly on purpose?” I wanted to say. “No,” I finally answered instead.
“Well it’s briskly. You can’t blow briskly. You can speak briskly or have a brisk walk. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Alright, there’s still time, try to fix it.”
Back at my desk I edited my story.
A First Story: The Flat Head Kid
The brisk wind caused Billy to lose his head. Those violent winds blew bouncing Billy’s head down the street. He ran after it. He chased it past the post office, he chased it past the hospital, he chased it past his house but he couldn’t catch it. Then a car ran over it. His head was as flat as a pancake.
An inconceivable problem faced him. He picked his head up and tried to blow it up again. He tried and tried but he couldn’t inflate his head, so he put it back on the way it was. From that day on, he was better known as the flat head kid.
That’s My Story On Becoming A Writer
It’s my very first bona fide story. My mother claims she still has it in a box somewhere, but I’ve never seen it, although she did send me a picture of it over a decade ago. The paper has the story with a drawing of the flat head kid standing by a mailbox. Too funny. I copied down the story, but the image is lost to some old computer or old phone. That story, on the very paper I wrote it on hung in the hall of our school for at least a year. I don’t remember what the display highlighted, but my story was there. I must have looked that way every time I went past it. I was proud of my achievement. It wasn’t a masterpiece or a perfect story. Still, the experience marked the beginning of me becoming a writer.
In third grade, somewhere between Mrs. Bradley’s smile and rewriting that story, I fell in love with storytelling. I was hooked. As far as my third-grade school year goes, this is the only memory I have, and it’s a strong clear memory too. From my teacher, I saw how words… my words, could induce a reaction from a reader.
Sorry Mrs. Bradley, you don’t get all the credit. My mother helped me to become a writer too. Long before this experience, she gave me a love for words. Additionally, both my parents nurtured my love for reading and writing. Still, it was magical to have someone outside of my home give me positive feedback on my work and that’s why my teacher made writing even more special to me.
For more thoughts on writing see Why I Write: What Motivates Me