I’ll admit I was behind the times when the first installment of Harry Potter came out. In 1998 I was not yet married and though I read a lot, it was mostly V.C. Andrew novels. (Okay, everybody engage in laughter now….okay, now stop.) I didn’t get around to reading the book series until after I had finished reading the Left Behind series AND the Gunslinger series. By then it was 2004 I think. My brother was heavy into the series but I think that was expected. The book series was more geared towards the younger generation than it was for my own. It wasn’t until adults really picked up the book and decided to read it that they realized Rowling had truly did something magical. She’d written a book series both young and old could get hypnotized with.
And that I did. I loved the series. I loved the characters. I loved the storylines. And I was hooked from then on and honestly feel she did us all justice in the way she ended the series. Of course, that is my opinion.
At the time I picked up the series I was also frequenting the computer but I wasn’t gung-ho on the Internet really. I was more into the word processing program as I was trying to get my poetry out into the mainstream. I was at a stage in my life where I was ‘trying’ to be a writer but not writing anything new. So I focused on my poetry and the Writer’s Market book was my lifelong companion…for about two years. LOLI had not produced any new poetry in so long, other than a few poem about my children. I felt that my life was going smoothly and all I had ever produced was during rocky or stormy times. With me ‘happy’ and ‘content’ I wasn’t producing anything. Of course I was out there trying. I still have many small plotlines I’d developed but never went anywhere with. It wasn’t until I started college that I was forced into the world of writing, even if it was mostly academic papers.
When I finally switched to an Interdisciplinary Humanities major and I got to work with a variety of topics such as religion, art, writing, sociology, psychology…was I fully able to embrace the passion that laid dormant within me. And boy did I ever. From then on I was on fire. A small fire, but fire nonetheless.
Can I say J.K. Rowling ignited the fire inside me with her creativity? What about Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins? And of course, there was Stephen King…there’s always King. As much as I’d give credit to the latter writers I truly believe it was Rowling’s novels that started me down the path of writing with an increased desire to write. I was both filled with desire and jealous at the same time. But it was school that propelled me into the writing full time.
I think it’s because educating myself activated the critical thinking aspects inside me. I began to feel better about myself. I had always enjoyed learning but here, in college, now I was doing something, striving for something on a continuum that seemed (and still does) unending. My desires to write merged with my goals of helping people and I learned that I could do both at the same time.
Today I work towards my Masters in Professional Counseling. In 20 short months I’ll have my degree. And then in another 20 months I’ll have my License and will finally be able to be deemed a Marriage and Family Therapist. I don’t know if I would have lasted this long without my writing to keep me sane. School is tough…and I’ll admit, I’m burnt out on it most of the time nowadays…but six years is a long time for school. But with writers like Rowling and Meyers and King…my scholastic burdens aren’t so unbearable. They kept me from losing my mind; kept me above water and led me towards greatness.