I remember learning to spell a particular word in kindergarten. We were waiting for our teacher to arrive to begin class, and I heard the girl behind me say that she had learned how to spell this word. Two or three other kids gathered close around her desk, like scientists around a Petri dish. This was vital information. I didn't turn around, but I listened, and as she spelled out the word I wrote down each lowercase letter; a line and a curve, a line and a curve, a line and a curve: red. And I remember the wonder I felt at it being such a small word for such a big color.
I suppose that was the start of it. Later in school, when a teacher would inform the class that our test would be an essay test, I was the student who was secretly rejoicing while other students moaned. My favorite day at school was the day our Scholastic book orders arrived, but it never occurred to me that I could be a writer. I knew people wrote books, I liked reading them, and I liked writing stories when I was in school. But when I was growing up, writing and other arts weren't considered real work, and so I had a hard time validating my desire. Eventually, I came to realize that what I thought of as real was someone else's opinion, not mine. Also, a desire that comes from the heart is inherently good, and does not require validation.
I love words. I love writing. I love the solitude and freedom. I love the creative process. I love how a thought can turn into something you can hold in your hands.