I don’t know who I am. Howbeit, I am a writer. I know that about myself. I have things to write with and things to write on, and I use them daily.
See that picture above? It’s a stack of index cards I have written on for the past two weeks. Each one has ideas and notes. The top card, WRITE, was a reminder I left for myself. It’s a silly reminder, because I never need to be reminded to write. The following card said TAXES, and I still haven’t finished filing.
The story of how I started writing is the same story of how I started reading. I was young and gifted. I walked on my toes, I didn’t talk, and I asked people, “Are you happy or sad?” To which they would reply, “I’m mad!”
The first book I read was called The Popples. It was a pop up book. I think I was 3 or 4 years old when I read it out loud to myself. Words looked so different then. The typesets emoted strange feelings and implicit sounds.
I started writing a couple years after I started reading. The first piece I wrote was a horror story about an evil person who cut the earth in half with a gigantic chainsaw — it was the scariest thing I could think of. The second piece I wrote was a one page essay on the nature of arguments during recess — and (go figure) I got a B.A. in communication and a minor in psychology.
I was ten when I started playing around with a typewriter. I wrote a story about a submarine. The story was full of plot holes, but I had an out of body experience while typing it. I ran to the kitchen to yell at my mom, “I just floated!” She didn’t turn away from the dishes as she replied, “That’s good, Dominic.” I ran back to the typewriter and ripped my submarine story out of the roller — a quintessential typing motion that makes a typist cringe. Then, I loaded another paper where I wrote about my out of body experience until the ribbon ran out. The ribbon was never replaced.
After, I made a journal for myself. I found a small five ring planner, I cut construction paper to size one sheet at a time, and then I manually hole punched each sheet. I wrote in there for about a year.
Since then, I have filled all sorts of media with writing, and they collect dust and silverfish. I’ve happily tossed and sadly lost more writing than the average person writes in their lifetime; but I write more than I can go back and read, and all of my favorite things I’ve written I’ve never had to reread to remember.
People tell me they like my writing. I like my writing too. People ask why I don’t publish it. I ask why I don’t publish it too.
This is why I am here. I have to share. I have to write out loud. I have a new voice to do it. I have new things to write with and new things to write on. It’s time to get rid of the little index cards. Right?