As long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the written word. My first memory of being enthralled with fairy tales was at the age of four. My Mom would read many stories to me from our collection of children's books. Goldilocks, Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, just to name a few. I was captivated by the thought of escaping reality to live in the worlds I was reading about.
By the age of seven, I was reading The Famous Five, Nancy Drew and The Secret Seven. Other favorites from elementary school included The Secret Garden, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Goosebump series. My favorite part about the Winter Break was going on a trip to the local library with my Dad and picking out books to read. My Dad was an avid reader and there was always a readers digest novel in the bathroom and a crossword puzzle to be completed on the dining room table. I grew increasingly fascinated with my Dad's typewriter and desperately wanted to learn how to use the computer to type. My Dad and I would watch Wimbledon, read together with cups of tea and I would cosy up at our old computer and type out the children's stories I was reading. It kept me entertained and occupied for hours!
I inherited my interest in current affairs from my Dad, who religiously read the newspaper daily. At 14, I remember the sheer joy and pride of seeing my name published in the local newspaper for the first time. I had published a letter to the paper about a South African actress, living in America, Charlize Theron. Throughout high school I enjoyed learning the definitions of new words and underlined new words in books I owned. (To this day, I am constantly looking up words.)
At 17, I was pretty sure I was going to be a Journalist, and interned at our City Newspaper, The Cape Argus and shadowed the Copy Editor of the O Magazine. I went on to graduate from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelors in Media & Writing and English Literature. I think a great fear and a lot of insecurities held me back from pursuing a career in writing at that time.
After I graduated at 21, I considered teaching English in South Korea, but all things fell into place for me to work for a research group in the department of medicine at my Alma Mater, where I would later focus on health education for three years before meeting my now Husband, David, who worked for the same group for a year. He was in his final year of Medical school and had an interest in cardiovascular disease in low- resource settings. We dated long distance for a few months and in a short time, I knew he was the man for me! While I visited him in Seattle, during his first year of his Residency program he proposed on New Years Eve of 2010. The following year we were married on a beautiful Spring day in Cape Town.
At 24 I moved to Seattle, with one suitcase and many hopes and dreams. Life was put on hold, as I waited several months to become a Permanent Resident of the US. David is now a Physician and works in global health research and has always been very supportive of me following my dreams. During the first four years of our marriage, I struggled to find my place in the health education field, volunteering and working at various health organizations like the American Heart Association and the International Medicine Clinic at an academic hospital. I think I have always worn many different hats. I volunteered with the elementary children at my church and worked as a social media intern for an international child health non profit. I worked various childcare jobs, nannying and co-teaching at preschools, until we had our beautiful Daughter Izzy Rose in November 2015.
In the summer of 2017, I joined a group of Mothers who write, we call ourselves Mama Writes. I found writing to be a creative outlet I had missed in the fog of being a new Mom. I am so grateful I grew up in a home where books were loved and revered and one of the greatest joys of Motherhood so far, has been the opportunity to pass on a love of reading to my daughter by reading to her every day. Some days she can be quite demanding, asking me to read ten books in one sitting!
I stay at home full time with my now two-year old daughter and I am thoroughly enjoying these precious days of seeing her grow and develop, however I also cherish the time I can recharge by leaving the house to read, write and do Yoga.
I am a free creative spirit and child of God, who loves being part of a larger community, making new friends, hearing their stories, and encouraging those around me. My therapist says I am a pollinator and I love that description! Now, in my 30th year I am choosing to live in an intentional way as I re-explore my love for the written word.
A writing portfolio
Welcome to the ReadtoWrite Blog. My name is Lauren Scheepers Watkins and I’m thrilled you’re here—because I have so much I want to share with you. This blog will be an online space for me to practice and publish my writing. Explore my site, and all that I have to offer; perhaps ReadtoWrite will ignite your own passions too.
"You begin to string words together like beads to tell a story. You are desperate to communicate, edify or entertain, to preserve moments of grace or joy or transcendence, to make real or imagined events come alive. But you cannot will this to happen. It is a matter of persistence and faith and hard work. So you might as well just go ahead and get started."
- Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life