Reading and writing pleasure

Ronald D. Walker

Reading and writing pleasure. Which came first for you? From my memory I was three when I began learning to make scribble marks that were words and reading those scribbles gave me the ability to read. Therefore my progression was writing first and reading second. The early writing form was elemental in nature and not understandable for other readers. Tutelage by my first love, the girl across the street, brought progression but little understanding. Further practice with her helping and the hope of winning more adoring glances, gave me courage to persevere. I was fully accomplished in both writing and reading when kindergarten was forced upon me. I had a map of the United States built as a puzzle. Memorization of the names of the states was the first challenge I overcame, followed by state capital name, population, chosen bird, motto and song of each state. I felt I was a walking encyclopedia and classmates were beneath the station in life I assigned myself. I was lord of the Encyclopedia Britannica as I finished reading every book in the set before I entered High School. None of the other students had a better command of language than me. With nothing organized, I knew something about every subject someone might want to discuss. My vocabulary was stupendous in comparison. I felt it elevated my status. They felt I searched for big words to unnecessarily impress. I struggled to have social acceptance. An eighth grade English teacher told me I had no imagination to be an accomplished writer. At the college level an instructor in introduction to writing was even less encouraging after an assignment. Instructed to find a quiet place to clear my mind and gain inspiration for insight into story development, quotes of scripture were all I was ever presented. I gained nothing except an invitation to drop the class to divert failure. I accepted and asked what he ever published. I became an enemy of the English department faculty and subsequently took my quest for academic enlightenment north after a year long hiatus in the State Capitol to work and save for future college days. My desire to write and my belief that I was able were lost until eighteen years later when the higher goals were somewhere in the distant past. All I had was empty days, with little purpose or caring. I wrote a story about a kidnap victim suffering from traumatic amnesia and returned to driving a truck when I found the freedom. I bought a laptop computer at a pawn shop and wrote when I could manage, during the following years and many miles later. I had lasik surgery to repair my near vision (myopia) deficiency. The corrective surgery decreased the acuity of my reading ability (hyperopia). Magnification became the norm. It is another stumbling block to writing I learned to how jump over or go around.
I can think of many reasons everyone should write, if they have the desire. Only one is valid for everyone. The record of your life. Those who have the desire to know you should have your written record, firsthand. A belated diary, if you care to categorize it as such, especially for the future generations. You will be long forgotten without that written knowledge and they will be forever wondering HOW. Tell the story and not have your life explained as ‘We met in college’ or ‘He was a loner’ or ‘She never realized her dream’. Cubbyholed to be something you are not, with confusion and misunderstanding. Have fun and save several copies of your work on disc or USB drive.