My parents were the ones who influenced me most when I was a kid and it became time to develop my reading and writing skills. When I was young, reading became such a comforting thing to me that I curled up with a book as often as I could. I also saw that my mom was a big reader and I think part of me wanted to be just like her. She would take my siblings and me on a weekly library visit, where we would inevitably end up arguing with her about how many books we were allowed to take home with us--the three of us must have been so obnoxious, running around the children's section and making huge stacks of books that we just HAD to read that week. Now it's turned into a costly habit of going to all the great used book stores around the city. Once I'm inside those doors, I turn back into that little kid who just wants to take home every book she sees...Now, though, instead of my mom telling me "There's just no way we can get through twenty stories this week! Put half of them back!", it's my friends dragging me out of the store annoyed that I've made them stay in a musty old bookstore for over an hour.
My dad was responsible for my inner-editor. I remember in eighth grade I had to write a ten page essay on the President of our choice (Ronald Reagan?! I honestly chose him because we had pictures of all of the Presidents on our classroom wall and I thought he was the most handsome). I felt as if I was shuffling toward the gallows as I shakily approached my dad to look over my essay. Even though he is generally a nice guy, his style of editing both content and grammar was so intimidating and harsh that our editing sessions would end with me in tears. This Reagan paper had been no different--after nervously waiting for what seemed like hours, he set the paper down and said something like, "Is this your best work?" Ouch. We then had to go through a 300 page Reagan biography to try to find better content, even though I had been working on the paper for weeks and it was due in just a couple of days. He is amazing when it comes to final drafts, though, and it was usually worth these dreary editing sessions to shape the way I write today. It ultimately made me care a lot more about the things I write and it made me more aware of errors in grammar and punctuation to avoid. Unfortunately, I still have an inane fear of others reading what I write (which is the cause for this darn blog entry taking almost an hour to write), but I think, or rather, I hope, that the fact that I care so much will come in handy as a Writing Consultant.