Many children have to be forced to read. As a nanny, I have discovered this myself. Cajoling, begging, bribing, and threatening, I would try my hardest to get my three charges to spend an hour a day with a book. Most days it was useless, occasionally there would be a rare success though possibly only lasting for half an hour or less. It was especially difficult for me because I was the exact opposite as a child.
Books were my entire world in childhood. As a young girl, I always found joy in looking through books. I never enjoyed naps very much, so my mother instead had me take part in “quiet rest time” where she would enjoy a nap while I looked at the pictures for a while.
Better yet was having my mom or dad read to me. I will never forget my father’s voice as he read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me for the first time, his deep tones echoing the wise words of Aslan. I would lean back on the couch and close my eyes and imagine I was off having adventures in Narnia.
Now, the problems with reading began when I started to have to do it for myself. It wasn’t as fast, and I couldn’t get through the story in nearly as short of time. I was frustrated at first by my lack of skill. However, as I progressed and it became easier I soon became a book addict.
I couldn’t stop. I didn’t just read books, I devoured them. My parents were told over parent teacher conferences to have a talk with me about choosing appropriate reading times. This was because my teacher would find a book on my lap during math time, during science, during social studies and almost all other subjects. I believe I was the one to get the most stickers of the class for books I had read.
Around the time of my discoveries about reading, I also discovered writing. The concept that I could not only read a story but also create one of my own was a wondrous thing in my mind. Looking back through old papers from second grade I have found the word author written in large print with a scribbled note beside it “what I want to be”.
In third grade, I wrote my first book. It was a children’s story that I self-illustrated called Little Lucy about the adventures of a small lamb. It was the first of many projects to come. Fourth grade would feature story lines of elves and fairies. A creative writing course in fifth grade helped me on my way.
Teachers were also largely supportive of me. I won the J.K Rowling Award in my third grade class, something our teacher had made up for exceptional writers. In fourth grade I got sent to my first writers conference where a published author gave a talk about how to improve writing and then gave the students time to work in individual workshops. I participated in it two more years afterwards. My fifth grade year I was honored for a poem about writing and my dreams of being an author. And from there on out I knew what I most wanted to do. Though doubts and trials have come, I have never truly faltered from my desire to write. I can only hope and dream that in the future publishing awaits me.