This morning I was following this obscure train of thought stream that wandered randomly from one thing to another, when I started thinking about the people, things, and events that influenced me to eventually become a technical writer. Then it occurred to me this could make for an interesting set of blog posts, so here we are!
The first and most obvious influence is my parents. In particular, my mom. There are two ways in which she influenced my love of writing.
First, I have vague memories of her printing things like my name and having me copy them, to do things like sign holiday cards. And I always had lots of books. We have recordings of my little voice reading A Fly Went By aloud to my grandparents. “I axed him why he flew so fast…”. Good for the brain cells!
Second, and more interestingly, she would sit me in front of the TV after school and I’d watch Sesame Street, Electric Company, and, eventually, 3-2-1 Contact. Mom tells a story of how my kindergarten teacher was impressed by how I could already read and write, and asked if Mom had been teaching me. “No,” she said, “He learned that watching PBS.”
The point is, my parents encouraged me to read starting very young, before I was even in preschool, and always made sure I had lots of things to read. In fourth grade, I’d spend an afternoon plowing through Hardy Boys books, sometimes three or more in an afternoon. Those were good times, and getting an early start reading certainly helped get me where I am today!