I’ve talked about it before, and I will probably talk about it again. Most every writer is asked the question. And the answer, for many of us, changes as we grow and our writing evolves. In this blog, I have covered more times than I can count at the moment the reasons that I write. Recently, though, I found myself face-to-face with one of the reasons I started writing in the first place. I immediately took a picture of it.
My husband and I took our sons on a vacation “Up North,” to Grand Traverse County, Michigan. My mother’s family has roots in the area, and a cousin now owns property in the small village outside of Traverse City where my great-aunt raised her family. We were able to stay there. My oldest son, who is 12 now, helped me tour the property on a golf cart—he drove while I took pictures. At one point as we drove along the dirt road, I just started to giggle. The road that stretched in front of me reminded me of my favorite book, Anne of Green Gables. All I could think as we bounced along that road was, “If this was a horse-drawn buggy, this would be just like what Anne Shirley saw on her first approach to Green Gables from the train station.” It took me back to the first time I read that book and the reasons I started to write.
I began writing because of Anne’s wonder. From the moment I first read that book, I was entranced with the way L.M. Montgomery captured Anne’s view of the world, her wondered at experiencing all new things. Her Anne books are my biggest inspiration. I can’t imagine that my writing is nearly as good as Ms. Montgomery’s work. But my goal, especially when I am writing for young adults, is to create characters as memorable as Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, and to craft a love story as touching and enduring as that of Anne and Gilbert Blythe.
Though Anne’s stories take place on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and this photograph was taken in Grawn, Michigan, it reminds me of those feelings I had when I started to write stories. I plan to enlarge this picture and have it framed to hang above my writing desk. This is why I write. Whenever I need extra inspiration, looking at this should help me to find it.