By Sarah A. <email@example.com>
Submitted: May 2008
Summary: An article by Lois on the reason why she chose to become a writer.
The usual disclaimers apply. I don't own any of the characters, nor do I claim to. So please don't sue me!
I always wondered how people did this for a living when I was young. I wasn't particularly good at this writing stuff. It was something that I had to work through. It was a challenge, and I loved it. It was something I wanted to be good at, and gradually I wanted to get even better when I realized I was sort of good at it.
Although I did have some faults, I still do, but you would never hear me say that out loud. I was never the best speller, and I sucked in the grammar department, even though I think I'm fine at it. How am I supposed to know where to put the semicolon; it's so confusing!
I guess the reason why I chose to do this for a living might be to piss my father off. I was never the best daughter to him, since he always wanted to have a son, but instead he got two daughters that were never good enough in his eyes. There was always room for improvement when it came to me. He wanted me to join the "family business". But I was having none of it. I had always enjoyed reading all those novels and the newspapers and I sort of had this knack to want to know things. I guess you can easily say I have quite a big curiosity.
I still remember how it all started for me. It all kind of happened so fast. I was in junior high, and I had told Mr. Edwards that I needed to use the toilet when I really just wanted to leave and walk around for a bit. You see, he was the kind of teacher who made you want to shove your pen into your eye just so you could start to feel alive again. Not one of the most interesting teachers.
So I had left to check my hair in the bathroom when I heard one of the lunch ladies saying that they were out of skimmed milk, but that it was ok; they would use the whole milk and just say it was skimmed, that we wouldn't know the difference, and that we didn't notice the last time they did it and the time before that either.
I was outraged to hear that to say the least. How could they lie to us so easily and just saying something that wasn't true. I had to do something about it. I had to tell everybody what the lunch ladies were doing. The students had a right to know the truth about the milk that they drank; even though it wasn't a lot that drank the milk, it tasted funny to me.
But I had one little problem: I needed proof.
I guess you can say that was the beginning of my run-ins with the law. Even though in my day it was just the principal's office, it was definitely the beginning. But it didn't matter to me, I had my proof and I was going to tell everybody about it. Because my fellow students deserved to know the truth about the milk that no one drank.
When I read the next issue of our school paper, my story was in the front page with my name on it. It was my first by-line. And I was extremely proud of myself. I was bubbling over with joy and pride.
That's how I caught the writing bug, all thanks to skimmed milk. All thanks to boring Mr. Edwards. It made me feel like I had a purpose. It fulfilled me like nothing did. To see my words on the front page with my name underneath them was exhilarating to me and put a smile on my face no matter how hard I tried to hide it. I never could, and I never cared.
Right now, I'm completely content in my life. I'm great at what I do, and one of the best of them if I do say so myself. I still have run-ins with the law on a weekly basis, to the point where I'm on first name terms with some of the officers. whether it's a bad thing is debatable in my opinion.
I still have my faults. I don't have time to care about my personal life, although I've been told that I don't have a right to claim that I have one. Being a reporter is a very demanding job and my sister doesn't seem to understand that!
One of the other faults is that I'm still the worst speller and my grammar is still as bad as it was before, but that's what editors are for.
I guess you can say writing has helped me define me. It made me who I am today. It was a challenge that I loved, and it only kept being more challenging with time, and my love for it kept growing with it. I have always been competitive and I love the fact that it's helped me throughout the years of my life.
Reporting has given me a purpose and a need to tell people the Truth, whether it was about drinking whole milk while being told it was skimmed, or what the government is using their tax money for.
It's a fulfilling life. And I can't imagine doing anything else.