“Write a 250 word essay about a son who has died in a war.  You can’t use the words ‘son’ or ‘war’.”  This was the writing exercise that made me want to write – this was the spark.  With all other pre-requisites done, I took only writing classes for the next two years.  Never a final exam, I only wrote final papers.  In a folder, in a box, in a closet somewhere, that original essay sits.  Eventually I will read it again.  For now, that essay is what reminds me I am a writer.  My grade was an A+, but what I remember most was the feeling of creating, the feeling of creative writing and crafting images with words.  Maybe I will look for that essay after I am published for the first time, and maybe it’s not even a good essay, but it was the beginning.  Maybe that essay has more power in the folder, in the box, in the closet somewhere, where thinking of it helps me believe I am a writer.


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