Through the Generations: Why I Write

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I’m often asked, “why writing?” What was it that compelled me to become a writer?

My response usually starts with “My father.”

He loved to write. If a paper and pen were nearby, he’d inevitably sketch a quick limerick or a lengthier poem. He wrote short stories and was published in Sports Illustrated. However, writing was only a hobby for him.

My father, at LeMoyne College (sitting to the right of the woman, pictured with a cigar in his mouth).

My father, at LeMoyne College (sitting to the right of the woman, pictured with a cigar in his mouth).

I often wondered if my father was meant to be a full-time writer. He was the editor-in-chief of LeMoyne College newspaper for four years and worked on the college yearbook for three. He was, without a doubt, a successful business man and I’m sure his writing skills came in handy. But when he was home from work, and later sitting at the dining room table with a cold beer, he seemed to flourish with pen in hand, rhyming words or crafting characters for a short story.

So maybe this is why I begin with my father when I answer why I write. Could it be genetics at play? I don’t see why not. Crafts and hobbies have been passed down for generations. A mathematician’s daughter learning how to count before she can barely talk or and orator’s son with the same gift of speaking. For my father, and for me, characters surface, like they’ve been part of us for years.

Like my father, I haven’t ventured into short stories, nor did my father write a novel, but we both understood what a pen and paper could, and can, bring to life.