Tag Archives: Highlights magazine for kids

Why do you write? Guest Sherry Gammon

11 Nov

When you meet someone, you know there are people you click in an instant with or people you know a lifetime but never really have much in common. You know some people step into your path of life, some entering and leaving your life as fast as a comet. Others are here to stay.

Several months ago we added a new member to our group, Sherry Gammon. She was quite shy I’d say, her too nice reviews reminding me of myself when we first formed our group. Back then I didn’t know how to say things for fear I’m going to hurt my critique partners’ feelings (that is long gone, when we realized we needed to be completely honest in our reviews, pushing each other to become the best writers we could possibly become). We kept teasing her until she showed her true face—a funny, spontaneous and caring person.

And yes, Sherry is here to stay. Not only in our critique group, but I hope in my life as a dear friend I’m going to share the good and the bad on my writing journey.

Sherry is my second guest in the cycle “Why Do You Write?”

Why do I write?

Hmm. Good question. For me, writing started as a child. I had the misfortune of witnessing some things that rocked my ten-year-old world. I really struggled with it, trying to make sense of why and how this happened. It haunted me, if you will. About six months later I was reading my favorites magazine … (Highlights magazine for kids!!) … perusing and absorbing each and every page … I mentioned it was my favorite magazine, right? ;} Anyway, while I was enjoying the poetry section, I decided to try and write one of my own.

I wrote a poem about what I had witnessed. It did not answer my questions as to why it happened, nor did it give me any other answers to my heartache, but it did ease my confusion and pain, exponentially. Why? I’m not sure, but I’m glad it did.

A love of poetry was born. I continued to write poems; fun, happy, sad, silly, it didn’t matter. In seventh grade my English class required that we write a poem and submit it in a book along with a collection of published poems we liked. A classmate submitted one of mine. The teacher loved it!

Fast forward to college. While thumbing through a yearbook of one of my roommates, I came across a large photo of a boy. It was an In Memorial photo. When I asked my roommate what had happened to him, she told me he had killed himself. She went on to explain briefly what led up to the death, and how he had chosen to end his life.

As you can imagine, the story was very traumatic for me. The photo haunted my thoughts, and I reflected on it often. I worry for this poor boy, prayed for him, but found no relief for my sorrow.

A year later I took a writing course in college, and we had to write a story as one of the requirements. I chose to write about the boy. I built a story around what few details I knew and added what I didn’t. My teacher loved the story and she encouraged me to publish it.

I learned something about myself that year. Writing helps me to deal with the things I tend to internalize. I am a very private person, which I already knew, and because of this I seldom share my deep thoughts or feelings with others. Writing gives my heart and soul relief that most people get when they talk about what bothers them. I guess I really should keep a journal!

My novel, “Unlovable”, was also taken from my life. It is the story of a young girl trying to overcome a very difficult life. Maggie, the girl in the story is, again, based on two girls I knew growing up. When it was finished and published, I felt such a peace to have their story out there. It was a closure that I really needed.

This is why I write. For the peace. For my peace. For the joy. For my joy. I love writing.

For more information about Sherry Gammon and her books visit http://www.wordpaintingsunlimited.blogspot.com/