"Just give me 10 minutes, girls. I don't feel great," my father said. That's when we found out.
We're not in medieval times. A time when only monks held the ability to read and write and monasteries housed the majority of the free world's books, handing the Church of England tremendous power over the everyman and everywoman living in poverty and voluntary ignorance. A period in history when you could only craft words skillfully -- or at all -- if you possessed status and wealth.
I would never be so arrogant to say I have all the answers and of course the topic of "What makes someone a writer" is incredibly subjective, but in my experience, there are many signs informing you that you are indeed destined to to string words together during your time on this blue and green orb. Here are seven of them.
Want a hit of inspiration that will help you unleash your creative beast? These 13 books that will help you do just that.
I drank while taking care of an infant. I was full of fire, ready to tell my story. The book got published; it became a bestseller; I received lots of praise, but also lots of criticism and even the occasional death threat. One of the most challenging and interesting gigs that Drunk Mom brought on was ghostwriting somebody else's memoir. We recognized each other beyond our differences. We were both addicts.
Writing saved my life. And it's not a dramatic or a grandiose statement. You see, when I was at the darkest point in my life -- when I was 15-years-old and in the midst of two years of intense bullying at high school -- writing was my respite.
My university Creative Writing teacher once said something that felt like it was directed at me. She said something along the lines of how the young kid in the classroom who is always staring off into space or out the window, lost in her/his thoughts, is not the bad student, he/she is simply the writer of the bunch. It helped me to move past years of self-doubt and anger. I wasn't stupid. I was a writer.
I was born with a cleft-lip, endured a series of serious illnesses and prolonged abuse. My father was an alcoholic who had heart disease. He died when I was nine years old. Thankfully early on I discovered writing and reading. It provided me with a reprieve from my troubled thoughts and a means of expression that extends beyond superficial appearances.
Literary writing is a worthless profession. Few who write novels, stories and poems make a living from them. This has been true for millennia. Lately the Internet has regressed into a society of feudal manors lorded over by tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Yahoo, who sell e-books for 99 cents or give them away for free. Their "competitive pricing" is threatening traditional publishers and physical books with extinction.
If you are a parent today in the western world, you have joined a very special club. A club of parents cast adrift, drowning in self-doubt while dodging waves of pyscho-babble lurching at them from every direction. It's easy to throw blame around but what is the main question we all want the answer to? "How do I help my child unfold to be their very best in today's world?"
I stumbled across this quaint shop in the heart of Singapore. I developed an instant fondness for the Fall 2011 Birth Defect Men's collection -- the designs are a breathe of fresh air compared to what you'll see on the streets. Wearable, but still insanely unconventional.