Natalie Pau: Why I Write
[Note: Natalie Pau began her internship—apprenticeship, really—with Applied Storytelling three weeks ago. We were taken not only with her eagerness to develop her writing skills for the world of creative services but also by her perseverance in working out an internship in the first place. I first met Natalie well over a year ago, while she was still in school and working as a sales associate at Nordstrom, where I had gone to purchase a pair of shoes for my youngest daughter. Since then, Natalie graduated with a degree in English from UC Riverside and followed through on her long-ago promise to get back in touch with us. This is the first of an ongoing series relating her intern perspectives. EL]
Like many first generation Asian-American women, I was subject to my parents’ firm expectations about my future. They wanted me to enter a field of science or law. Alas, I completely misguided them: I decided to become an English major.
As a child, I lived in the Sunset District of San Francisco, closer to the fog of the coastline than to downtown. Despite the morning chill, I would take walks with my father from our little house to the neighborhood coffee shop. After my dad got his requisite coffee with two packets of brown sugar, we would walk to the grocery store. There I encountered my first Archie Comic.
The colorful panels that held Betty and Veronica as they fought over Archie, the word bubbles, the pages of illustrated food that Jughead consumed, the ability to traverse from panel to panel, everything intrigued me.
The characters’ adventures fueled my own desire to go deeper into the world of fiction. When we got our summer reading lists at the end of school, I would complete everything on my list and then dive into my older brother’s.
From reading stories, I progressed to wanting to write them. In my diaries and journals, I discovered how much I enjoyed playing with language and words. I delighted in constructing new realities, people, and ideas. I still do—to the extent that I am now pursuing writing as a career.