Baby Steps On The Writer’s Path

The last few weeks I’ve been helping out a friend by tutoring her six year old boy a couple of hours a day. She home schools both of her children, an 8 year old girl and the boy. I felt a bit apprehensive at first because I wanted to make the learning experience fun so that he would continue to enjoy learning all throughout his life. I knew that I needed to have great patience and the willingness to repeat the lessons and do the drills over and over and over until it “clicked” in his head.
I’ve been remembering my early school days and that big blackboard with the ABC’s and the teacher with her pointer having the class recite each letter she pointed to. That memory sparked others and I began to ask myself what I liked or did not like about my early teachers and how each may have played a role in my love of reading and writing.
I remembered one teacher asking us what we wanted to be when we grew up and I said to the laughter of the class: “A Private Detective.” The teacher did not laugh and scolded the rest of the kids for laughing at me.
I loved that teacher. Her acceptance felt like a form of permission and I began snooping around my neighbor’s house, peeking in their windows and eavesdropping on their conversations. At first it was very exciting but after a week I was bored out of my mind.
I discovered Nancy Drew and an exciting world opened up before my eyes. I graduated to the PI genre with John D. Mc Donald, Parker and Spenser, Honey West and who could forget James Garner in The Rockford Files? From my love of reading PI books and watching PI shows I began to form a main character and my next step had been to write my own stories.
I wonder if that teacher had criticized me if I would have denied my interests and never even started writing. I am so grateful for her acceptance and encouragement. She didn’t make a big deal out of it, but she defended me and I’m sure happy today that she did.
What teachers, experiences or activities sparked your writer’s imagination and set you on the writer’s path?
Nancy A. Niles is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Win from Second Wind Publishing.


Filed under books, fiction, life, musings, writing

2 responses to “Baby Steps On The Writer’s Path

  1. I remember my son answering that question–what do you want to be when you grow up–by saying “A man.”

  2. I love it! So cool you grew up writing books about the career you chose as a child. Teachers are important, no doubt.

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