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When I was eight, I won a short-story writing contest. That was the last time I wrote a story in 30 years that wasn't for school, work or just because I wanted to write a story.
Well, that wasn't exactly true. In high school I wrote an LGBT romance that took up eight large notebooks with tiny lines. In college, I wrote for a newspaper and a radio station writing radio plays in the vernacular. They let me tell the stories I wanted, so I guess those count.
After college, however, I went into advertising. I got too busy writing to write. I wrote stories for brands, for politicians, milks, electric companies, shampoos, banks, shopping centers and more. Sure I wrote for people, and I tried to stay honest, but there was something missing. But I didn't care much, I had a job that paid well. Stories could wait.
In 2009, everything fell apart. And I wrote even more. More words. Less important. I wrote everything: articles, blog posts, ebooks, ads and more ads, at least 7,000 words a day.
I did, however manage to squeeze in a few stories for my friends. I was too broke to buy them proper gifts, soI wrote stories every time someone had a birthday. Yael's story was a birthday story too, I suppose. Just not the joyous birthday that everyone had hoped.
In 2013, I realized that I was losing my words. When I speak, my sentences become garbled. I have always had trouble speaking in public, but for some reason, it became worse last year. Tests showed a spot, nonspecific, in the part of my brains that controls verbal skills.
That was when I realized the stories cannot wait. That spot in my brain can either grow bigger or stay the same size, I don't know. But what I know is this: if I am losing my words, then I had better get them out now.