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Inspiration -- The Writer’s 'Aha' Moment

It's my dad's fault I've spent more money on ... than I've earned ... written in them. From the age I could hold a crayon -- and ... ... scribble on walls -- ... was i

It's my dad's fault I've spent more money on notebooks than I've earned from
words written in them. From the age I could hold a crayon -- and comprehend
I shouldn't scribble on walls -- stationery was in plentiful supply. During
my formative years, a paper-mill firm employed my father.

He brought home reams of product -- quality control rejects. I eyed them
with enthusiasm, itching to scrawl my hieroglyphics. As my mastery of the
three R's improved, I was the only 7-year-old on the block with
leather-bound notebooks (albeit defective). I admired my paper hoard,
believing it meant only one thing: I was destined to be a writer. But when a
new notepad appeared, I would start a new story regardless of whether I had
finished the last -- I liked my tablets dog-ear free.

A quarter-century later, the paper-mill converted to a boutique mall and my
dad fond of saying, "You live beyond your means," I still dreamed of being a
famous writer. My vocabulary had grown age-appropriately (and my cursive).
My self-discipline and output, however, remained that of a child. Perhaps
less -- I was a prolific 7-year-old, after all.

Still, the dream stuck. A calfskin-bound journal with linen-finished pages
shrieked, "Buy me," begging to be filled with my prose. I would reverently
begin a piece, with the help of a carefully selected pen. But when
coffee-cup rings stained the book and it lost its leather smell; my writing
was as stale and uninteresting.

A new masterpiece began when the next journal beckoned. I would tell myself
this was "it": the story that would be published (I could justify any
expense for an inspiration fix).

It was last spring I had the "Aha" moment. It came in Wal-Mart. Shopping
with my 7-year-old daughter -- a blossoming writer -- she insisted I buy her
a brightly covered journal.

"Why do you want another one?" I asked. "You've got a ton you haven't
written in."

"I know," she said, "but I need it to write a story."

"It doesn't matter what you write on," I said, sighing at the extravagance.
"If you really want to be a writer, anything will do."

"Aha!" I thought, hearing my own pithy wisdom. I bought her the journal --
she'll learn her own lessons, her way -- and came home. Grabbing an ordinary
legal pad, I wrote a piece with an ending, which finally made it to

It didn't make me famousArticle Search, but it was a start. I proudly cut out the clip --
and stuck it in my journal.

Source: Free Articles from


C.S. Paquin is a nationally published writer in both the business and humor
markets. Cheryl has a Master Of Arts in Journalism and has been writing
freelance for over five years. She contributes regularly to regional
publications in Minnesota. She is the owner and editor of and the author of a new e-book: 101 Paying Markets
for Essays, Columns & Creative Nonfiction, available at:

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