For anyone who writes, the answer is usually obvious. Have to, don’t have a choice. I’m not a very nice person when I not writing. Too many things in the head waiting to explode. But for non-writers, this doesn’t cut it.
So I thought about it for a while and I wrote this story.
Once upon a time, there was a young man who went off to war. He flew aeroplanes and dropped bombs and was shot down a few times, but he survived and returned home to his family and friends. One night when in his local inn, he met the innkeeper’s daughter. She had dark curly hair and a nice smile and he fell in love with her. Eventually, he plucked up the courage to tell her and she agreed to marry him. Nine months later, a baby girl arrived.
“What magic is this?” they said. “How did that happen?”
Both parents were captivated by their new daughter and decided they would like to bless her with magic too and they would give her seven gifts.
Firstly, they gave her the magic of love, for there is nothing more precious to give to a child than love.
Then they sat and wondered what they should do next.
“I know,” said the young man. “I will give her the magic of listening, that she may hear everything going on in the world around her, not just the chatter of crickets, but conversations in restaurants and on buses.”
“Oh, yes,” said the woman. “And she must have the magic of looking and absorbing all that is wonderful too.”
“Yes,” he agreed. “We will show her Stonehenge at dawn and the stars by night and …”
“And I will teach her the magic of speech,” she interrupted. “So she will know the power of words and even be able to talk for England at the Olympics if she wants to.”
“Brilliant,” he said. “And when she knows how to say those words, I will teach her the magic of reading so she will have access to all the books in the land and be able to devour them whenever she wishes.”
They were stumped for a few minutes as to what to give her next, but it wasn’t long before the woman spoke again.
“She must have the magic of imagination. The power to pull the listening and the looking and the words and the reading altogether, for dreams are made of all of these.”
While she spoke, the man searched his pockets and pulled a small object from one of them in triumph.
“And I will give her this magic pencil that she may be able to write and convert her dreams, whatever they may be, into words for others to read.”
So the seven-times-blessed baby grew into a much-loved little girl. She learned to be nosy and to listen and to look at everything happening in the world around her. Her mother taught her to speak as she had promised and her father taught her to read and on the day he gave her the pencil, she discovered she could not put it down. She wrote everything she could, from shopping lists to novels of over a hundred thousand words and she hoped very much someday, somebody would want to read them.
And I was that little girl and that is why I write.