How I Became a Writer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The evolution of a writer and the importance public libraries have played in that evolution.

Submitted: April 22, 2017

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Submitted: April 22, 2017

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How I Became a Writer

I often say I’ve been writing for as long as I can hold a pen. I honestly cannot remember a time when my stories are not part of my life. Growing up with my family on a farm, as the next generation of a multigenerational Yankee family, the stories not only formed in me but were all around me.

There were family stories at the dinner table, stories a local history but at the historical society, and New England characters everywhere I looked. They came to dinner, they baled our hay, and they lived down the road from us. As a journalist, I still met my characters daily.  They were there at town meetings, church fairs and a hundred other places I covered.

My writers mind, I now realize absorbed the nuances of those I met, their language the mannerisms and all the wonderful colors and diversities the personalities. I stored those varied pieces away only to have them resurface as perfectly formed pieces of patchwork that constitute my characters.  Esther, Claire, Elmer, Absalom and all the others that have sprung from my imagination. They all carry a piece of my beloved New England people with them.

And like the characters, the stories have always been there for me.  Always tapping me on the shoulder. Telling me there’s more to the tale than what I see in front of me, if only I’d take the time to look, and tell the story as it needs to be told, full of richness in language and characters. Someone needs to tell it, I need to tell it, because I am compelled to. For that is a storyteller’s lot. To preserve what he is and create what is not, to make people think and smile and appreciate the music of everyday life that is all around them.

Libraries too have been a large part of my writing journey.  They have been there every step of the way for me. From story hour, to summer vacations stretched out on a blanket in the back yard with a pile of books, the library card was always my golden ticket.  In my mind, I would not be where I am in my writing career without this precious community resource.

Thanks to these community book shelves I have been blessed to be taught by the best teachers as well. As a granddaughter the town librarian, Alcott, Thoreau, Dickens, London, they were all at my fingertips and I devoured it their every word, page by page . Like a box of chocolates you hope you never finish. The music and melody of the poetry of Frost and Dickinson called me to learn the beauty of words and the noticing of details.  Wharton herself reminded me to write what I know when I discovered Starkfield Massachusetts and Ethan Frome. I have learned more from these masters then I could ever have learned in the classroom.

  The question has been raised as to whether libraries are relevant in this day and age.  I am here to answer with a resounding yes.  Those books and that building, funded by taxpayers are more than just words on a page.  They are a message of hope.  They are a message of you’ve got this and a message to our children if you dream big we will provide you the building blocks to reach that dream.  I am here to remind people that libraries are not always the end, sometimes they are the beginning. 

Much like planting a sapling, and watering it you may not see results instantly.  However if you faithfully keep watering and feeding it one day it may blossom into a stunning  tree that will stop you in your tracks with its beauty and magnificence.

 


© Copyright 2017 Carla Charter. All rights reserved.

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