Writing in the Blood?
by Emerian Rich
Is writing or the wish to write genetic?
It never occurred to me that it could be until I was looking at some old pictures my mother had. I found three pictures of the women in my family at their tables writing. They aren’t writing about vampires or love stories, but they did spend a large part of their time writing.
My great grandma, Edna, was a school teacher and a boarding house owner. She wrote letters to her kids and kept the family abreast of news. She was also a seamstress and made a lot of notes about measurements and clients. She kept records and did all the books for her businesses.
My grandmother, Beulah, was a thrift store manager and kept their books. As a church secretary she was in charge of the church programs and bulletins. She was also the mother of five kids and hundreds of grand kids, great grand kids, and great, great grand kids. She was the link to the generations, writing a hand full of letters every week to family, friends, and those in need of a cheery letter.
My mother is a minister and when I was little, was always studying for her seminary classes. After that, she wrote sermons, bible studies, and activity programs. Even now, she writes a great deal. Her favorite things to write are church plays and skits. That’s also where I get my sense of humor and performance background.
And then you have me. I started writing very young. Usually journals or letters, but when I was 11, I decided I was sick of writing journals about my boring life and I would start writing stories. My first “novel” was 86 pages of big bubbly pencil writing. Since then I’ve written millions of words, everything from magazine articles to interviews, ghost stories to love stories.
Looking back on my history, it’s not the fact that all of us wrote–many people write, it’s a fact of life–but that we all took pleasure in writing. The act itself is fun to me and those that tell me to write my stories on computer, just don’t get it. It’s a pastime I enjoy and although I use voice recognition software, and can type rather fast, I will still write. I will write until I can’t any longer. They will have to pry the pen out of my cold, dead fingers!
Is there a trait you share with your family? How does it effect your outlook on life?