“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were
So begins “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” So begins “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” When you were a child, did your parents read those words to you? Mine did. And I read them to my children. Although, as they grew older, we donated most of my children’s books to various organizations — several boxes of “Goosebumps” stories went to our local elementary school, for example — there were a few that I simply could not part with. And our six-volume set of Beatrix Potter’s most popular stories was remains on the bookshelf.
I recently watched “Miss Potter” again. The 2006 film tells the story of Beatrix Potter’s refusal to conform to late-Victorian societal norms and determination to see her stories about her animal “friends,” as she called them, published. She was a naturally gifted artist who, as a solitary child, escaped into her own imagination, developing the characters and storylines that would ultimately make her the most popular children’s author of all-time. It is a charming movie featuring exceptional performances by Renee Zellweger, Ewan MacGregor, and Emily Watson.
Potter was a story-teller and artist from early childhood who struggled from her early 20’s until the age of 36 to get her first book published. In 1902, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” defied publishers’ expectations and secured Potter’s legacy.
Beatrix Potter found her calling as a young girl and channeled her interest in natural history, mycology, archeology, fossils and farming into her delightful stories about Benjamin Bunny, Samuel Whiskers, Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mr. Tod, and all the rest. She had to draw — and write.
Watching “Miss Potter” again caused me to ponder the point in my own life that I knew I was a writer and would continue to write throughout my life. I realized, not all that surprisingly, that I have self-identified as a writer my entire life. I literally cannot remember a time when I did not enjoy writing or feel compelled to write, although my writing has taken many different forms over the years.
When did you know you were a writer? Was there a moment or period in your life when you realized that you were meant to write? Did a specific event or occurrence compel you to write? Or, like me, have you just always considered yourself a writer? Leave a comment or a link should you decide to write about this topic on your own site.