I realize that many of our readers are not United States citizens. But tomorrow for most of us is a day of Thanksgiving, and for Christians, a day of praise as well.
Related to your writing, to whom or what are you most grateful?
In retrospect, I see a "hinge" in my life where my thoughts of becoming either a dentist or an archaeologist turned toward writing. I had a high school teacher, Ruth Roberts, who later told me she was touched by my writing assignments in her English class. (I was just trying to survive: my dad had undergone two brain surgeries in the midst of my parents' divorce proceedings. I didn't write directly about my circumstances at all -- like most teenagers of the day, I was ashamed of anything that might mark me as unlike my classmates--but apparently what I wrote got her attention.)
Mrs. Roberts knew of two state-wide poetry contests and without my knowledge entered some of my poems in them. I won awards, and for the first time thought of myself as a writer, not just a fifteen-year-old who wrote. That perception trumped my lack of self-confidence and helped me enter more contests, one of which resulted in a college scholarship.
I later made connections with Mrs. Roberts, and in my capacity as president of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, founded a state-wide poetry contest for high school students: The Ruth Roberts Poetry Prize. She has been gone from this life for many years, but I salute her today.
Today, for whom are you grateful? Who caused you to first think of yourself as a writer?