A Brief History of the Writer as Pertains to Words

At five months, inspired by my giant floor companion (see below), I uttered my first word: “doggie.”


Suzanne Zaphod
Image description: infant in a white helmet reaches toward large gray and white dog.  The helmet is not because I was into extreme sports as an infant.  I had plagiocephaly.

I haven’t shut up since.

Throughout my early childhood, my ever-loving parents quietly suffered through what they dubbed my “talkatism.”  Then, in an act of what I assume was desperation, they made the mistake of allowing me to learn to read.  It helped decrease the talkatism, but created the new problem supplying my book habit.

Around this time I began to dream of being a writer, and throughout elementary school I produced a series of poems and short stories.  However, somewhere along the line I realized not everything I wrote was perfect, and I let my perfectionism win.  I stopped writing fiction.  

In high school I discovered debate.  This was heaven.  In debate I was supposed to do words for days on end.  It was encouraged!  I even met a flock of other word-obsessed youth.  These individuals are still among my closest friends.

Fast forward ten years.  I had a loving, attractive, intelligent, funny partner whom I am in no way trying to flatter.  (Seriously though— he’s pretty great).  I was a Doctor of Physical Therapy and had my dream PT job.  I had wonderful friends, and a supportive family.  Yet, I felt like something was missing. 

One day at work a patient asked me if I was a writer. Without thinking I said yes. Eventually I realized being a writer is as fundamental to my identity as being as woman or being a daughter. I can ignore it, but it’s not going away, and I’m much happier when I acknowledge it.

I realized I wanted to pursue writing again. Reader, I am so glad I did.

2 Replies to “A Brief History of the Writer as Pertains to Words”

  1. I look forward to your writings and am already learning about you and discovering new words (I admit that I had to look a few up). Love you!!

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