Wisconsin has the best cheese.
Really, they do. I know because I lived there after college and every bar that is conveniently located on every corner of every block in every commercial area serves food covered, slathered, or stuffed with the good stuff along with serving the good stuff itself.
Dear Wisconsin Bar Cheese Curds,
I miss you.
And it was this move to Wisconsin to start my love affair with cheese curds that I began writing.
To back up a bit, I always enjoyed writing. Unfortunately I was the younger sister and my introverted – no – downright antisocial sister also liked to write. She was older and just by chance of normal child development, she was the better writer. I know parents don’t try to label kids but they do – she was the writer, the artist, the musician if she had ever continued to learn piano. I was the tomboy who was talented in neighborhood shenanigans.
Therefore I never really “picked up” writing because it wasn’t my thing, it was respectfully hers, and I wasn’t the sister who was going to interfere.
That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy writing. I excelled with school reports and research papers. Often I would get those awesome little notes back from my teachers and professors, “Wonderful Job!” It was fun. Writing was not something I shied away from in an education setting, just in a personal creative one.
Until I moved to Wisconsin.
At this point in my life my family was broken up in different states. I had a sister here, a sister there, and a mom – over here. My mom requested we start an email “newsletter” and write to each other to share news and happenings of our respective lives and locations. It never really panned out overall but once in a while an email was sent.
This is when I started to get feedback on my more creative writing.
I didn’t really care to write, “I went to my new dentist today.” But instead would try to make it interesting. “Dr. George Clooney looked at me with his bright blue eyes and asked how I was doing today. I said I was ‘fine’ but really, I couldn’t wait for him to put his latex hands all over my mouth.”
From here my family and my husband asked me why I don’t write more. My emails were funny, well written, and entertaining. I was encouraged at this point to start a blog but at the time I didn’t really understand what the purpose of blogging was. I would either copy and paste the emails I wrote to my family or write other real life happenings in a quirky way. I picked up a few books, tried to teach myself about writing, and just experimented in general.
I would give up often. No one was really reading the blog and at that point I didn’t care to maintain it so months, at one point years, would go by without a post. Outside of the blog I would work on a story, leave it, come back later, have a read through and think it was terrible. I would edit, edit, edit some more, and edit again before ditching the idea all together.
The difference was support.
Motivation was as simple as my husband saying to me, “I like your writing and I think you should keep going.” Even recently as I am participating in a short story competition and working on my next work in progress as part of a writers group NANO he said, “You are so much happier when you are writing.”
I am happier when I’m writing and I regret I didn’t start sooner. I have my husband, I have my friends, and I have a writers group which all share a common goal. Appreciation for the written word and a good story. Having all these positive influences around me to support my form of art make me happy.
This is why I write.