By Theresa Oliver
As we hustle and bustle about looking for just the right gift for any occasion, let’s not forget why we writers do what we do. Why do we write? Some write for fame and riches. But let’s not forget for whom we are writing.
Several months ago, I was in a dollar store when I overheard a young girl talking to her mother in front of the book section. She told her that she was disappointed that there weren’t any young adult books there. Unable to help myself, l told them that I was a published author and that I write young adult and children’s picture books. Knowing that I had a few of my books in the car, I offered to give her a few. When I brought the books in, her eyes lit up and she and her mother thanked me profusely. We exchanged e-mail addresses and we were on their way.
I thought nothing of the incident until a few months later when I received this e-mail:
“I just want to say thank you for the amazing books! These are truly the best books I have ever read! You have a great gift. I am so glad I met you. You really made my Florida experience unforgettable! You and your books have inspired me to read more, always believe in myself, to never give up, and to be brave. So, thank you again. I hope you keep writing and making everyone’s opinion of reading and writing better, as you have for me.”
She signed it “the girl from the dollar store”.
Not long ago, I was at a book signing in Toledo, Ohio, and I had a similar experience. A mother was there and wanted a book to bring back for her eleven-year-old daughter. She bought my book A Horse Named Dog, my first middle grades children’s chapter book.
Shortly after, I received this message: “When I went to the book signing, I picked Jyllian up a kid’s book, wanting her to know that she was on my mind. She told me today on the way to school that it was the best book she has ever read. Hearing her excitement over a book, melts my heart.”
Her mother also told me that her daughter wrote a book report about it and sent me a picture that she drew of A Horse named Dog.
Hearing the excitement of these two girls reminded me of why I write … to bring joy to the lives of our readers and, hopefully, make their lives a little bit better. So in this season of hustle and bustle in the search for just the right gift, let’s not forget that sometimes the best gifts in life are free. The gifts of joy and inspiration are priceless.
So, why do you write? Let’s get back to the reason why and not lose sight of it during our busy lives.
Theresa Oliver grew up in southern Indiana, across from Louisville, Kentucky, in Clarksville, Indiana. In her childhood, she fell in love with the power of the written word, a love affair that has continued her whole life. She moved to Florida, where she has lived much of her adult life. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree, News Editorial sequence. She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, Early Childhood Education sequence, from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia. She is currently a writer, a full-time teacher. However, her greatest adventure is as the mother of three beautiful boys. Oliver currently resides in Kissimmee, Florida, with her husband and children.