As a young girl, I was a storyteller. Only I didn’t know it. That’s not what I called myself. I didn’t think I did anything out of the ordinary. My stories (like most kids) were my companions, my way of working out the tough stuff happening at school, and most of all, just…fun. I made up all types of stories: romance novel escapades (from a 9 year old’s mind) to epic heroic adventures to after school special type dramas full of lessons and social morals.
Naturally, I had no interest in keeping these elaborate stories to myself and would eagerly run into the living room hoping that I could find someone — anyone — to share them with.
It was my Grandpa Michael who would patiently listen to my breathless recounts of action and emotion and then he would give me the most maddening advice. “Don’t forget to write it down,” he would say.
Write it down?
Who has the time to stop and write the story down when you’re nine?!
My mind carried a variety of vibrant tales and I had things to do!
Still, he was persistent with his advice: “Write it down.”
Eventually, I did write them down and learned that (gasp) I could make a living doing so. But I knew that wasn’t really what my Grandpa had in mind. He wanted me to mark those moments of creation by taking the time to document the magic. To take the ethereal and make it material.
Finally, when I was ready to write my first book (and had been thinking about it for a zillion days), his words literally woke me up one night: “Write it down.” So, I shuffled out of bed and I wrote. I wrote for eight hours straight and as night became morning, I had a book proposal that I soon sent off and sold just a few months later. Unfortunately, he was no longer here with us for me to share the news – but I knew…that he knew.
Looking back, my evolution as a creator was always spurred by my grandfather’s advice.
He showed me that my stories had value and that my ideas were worthy of being remembered. He saw my potential in all of those early stories. Those dreams, written down over the years, became the roadmap by which I have built my career. That’s why this Father’s Day, I wanted to partner with Dove Men+Care to celebrate all of the men who have been there to care for us.
My grandfather was — and still is — my writing muse.
In fact, he’s the one who told me to write this story down.