I wrote this post inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections. Click HERE for more entries.
The question: How and why did you become a writer?
I find it awkward to acknowledge and type, “I am a writer”. I think of a writer as someone who has a nook in their home or a writing cave a.k.a. garage, back house, mother-in-law apartment dedicated to their craft. Someone who reads multiple books at a time for pleasure, who in general conversation drops author names and quotes from books/poems at just the right moment. A writer thinks in topic sentences, loves scrabble and loses themselves in their favorite worn thesaurus regularly. This in no way describes me although, I wish sometimes it did.
Writing is a relatively new experience for me. I, of course, kept a detailed journal through out my adolescent years. I filled pages and pages with emotional jargon, hid the contents from family and friends and felt, at times, like those pages were my only “true” friends. A highly sensitive girl and now adult, it is often hard for me to get the words out of my heart in a thoughtful way when directly speaking with someone, even with those I am closest too.
I was not an enthusiastic young reader like many writers I know. I remember barely making it through most of my required reading for high school. I think my first novel I read for pleasure was a Danielle Steele novel I found on my mom’s nightstand, “Message From Nam”. I read it one summer day right before my first quarter of college started. My most influential books all have a common theme, they are heartfelt, the author gifts the main character with a deep narrative, there is most often a strong-willed yet empathetic female character and I can tell the writer has a good heart, I rarely read non-fiction. If I click with a book, I think of nothing else. I am instantly pushed by forces greater than me, I must continue to read until the end. As I write, I find this true as well. It is hard for me, in the middle of a moment, to stop and start hours or days later.
I started writing regularly about 3 years ago. It was the first creative outlet I discovered as I was learning to take my own breaths as a new mother of two boys. Immediately following this newly discovered enjoyment I starting taking photographs regularly (of more than my kids), painting, drawing and the creative energy is still unfolding, surprising me, guiding me along the way.
Writing has opened a number of windows, let in some refreshing air. It has given me an outlet that I enjoy sharing. Since starting this blog a month or so ago, I have started writing poetry for the first time. I am loving it. I take risks when I write that I don’t take away from my corner, poorly lit, out-of-place, higher than average, made in Kentucky, antique square table, in my bedroom. I click “publish”, I comment on strangers posts, I promote my work without second guessing myself. If you met me, especially in a crowded room, I would never just come up to you and start telling you how much I enjoy your work, how talented you are, how your words move me and make me think harder.
It feels like someone is listening when I write, maybe it is myself, maybe it is you. It feels good to genuinely be heard. The more writing I do the more I can’t stop the flowing thoughts bubbling over to the lines in my notebooks and moving the blinking cursor along the screen. I enjoy seeing the words become stories that were previously untold. I like to look back on my body of work, see what I was feeling, how far I have come and where I have circled around. Writing feels empowering, like I stand strong on my two feet. Each word in its place, no more questioning what I think, how I feel, is anyone listening. The momentum is gaining, my voice is ever stronger with each new writing piece. I am proud of my words on these virtual pages.