This is an essay I wrote as an entry for a conference scholarship. I missed the deadline for the scholarship, but this came from my heart and I’d like to share it with you.
Why Writing Is Important to Me
As a child, I was invisible. The shy second daughter of a working single mother whose devotion exceeded her energy, I did my best to leave the smallest possible footprint on the world.
As an adolescent, I was misunderstood—not by my parents, but by my peers. They mistook introversion for arrogance and assumed my preference for intellectual pursuits equaled disdain for the pursuits of others. I wrote for myself alone.
As a young mother in a difficult marriage, I was lost. My voice was drowned by the demands of children and a husband absorbed in his own needs. I tried to write, but with no encouragement, I soon gave up.
As an older mother with a second family, now in a supportive marriage, I realized at last that my spirit was withering for lack of expression. The only way I could find myself was to pour myself out on the page and watch what took shape. Job and children notwithstanding, I carved out space and time and began to write.
Eight years and four novels later, as a middle-aged woman on the cusp of an empty nest, I have served my apprenticeship. I have honed my craft, persisted through rejection, shared my lessons learned with those just setting out on this daunting but exhilarating road.
I have found my voice. I am ready to be heard. I will not be silenced again.