Not everyone can say they’ve been writing their whole life, including me.
My relationship with the “ink and quill” didn’t formally kick off until I was 10 years old. Half bribed, half dragged into a chair by my 5th grade teacher, I had a piece of paper and a pencil, plus the promise that I could skip leaving the classroom for lunch, recess, art and music class so I would have time to finish a poem on “Backgrounds” for some arbitrary competition. [More on that poem and the significance of it in my life….on a later date!] Why would I be so lucky as to skip all of my FAVORITE out-of-class activities? My teacher waited until the last day for submission to tell me that there was even a contest. Well, obviously I was excited about rising to the occasion (although I silently resented missing lunch with my friends to eat by myself in the classroom), and I knew I wouldn’t need that many hours to complete the task. As a matter of fact, I set a goal to be finished before music ended with enough time to sing a few bars before art. I reached that goal and then some. My piece that was barely submitted on time ranked #1 in Clayton County School District and continued on to place in the top 10 in the state of Georgia.
That went a long way to boost the confidence of a kid who’d just hit double digits and felt like it was time to start making something of herself. Great grades just weren’t as exciting or challenging for me by that time (and to be honest, that trend would become a problem for me in college, but that’s for another post!), so I needed an outlet. Writing seemed like an interesting venture. I’d never competed against myself before that moment.
I had a lot of pent up words to share…even if I just shared with myself.
So, I started with notes and poems and thoughts. Suddenly, everyone knew about my award-winning debut as a poet. There were spare journals, diaries, notebooks and all manner of floral, sparkly, pastel stationery in my room. They seemed to be taking root and sprouting out of the walls, under the covers, inside the drawers and behind the closed doors of the closet. Every birthday, Christmas, moving day, spring cleaning, or “just because it’s Wednesday” gift featured something to write with or on. The expectation was obvious, yet mostly unspoken….so was the pressure.
I put away the parchment almost as quickly as I’d picked him up. It began to seem more like extra homework to me than free and fun. Of course, I didn’t know it back then, but while writing is my love and my passion, it would always be my Dom as well, cracking the whip and taking no prisoners. To be good at writing, it would cost me more energy than video games, and to be [great], it would cost me all the negative habits and mindsets that I didn’t want to lose. There was no love lost though. I was just a kid, and it was “just” a hobby.
I was about 16 when I met up with my former love again, and that’s when I really wanted to show him a good time. Except I wasn’t the same girl he’d fallen for back in elementary school. I wasn’t the same girl I’D fallen for back in elementary school. By that point, I’d met new people, had new experiences, and found new loves. I wasn’t as forthcoming anymore. Some parts of me where no longer available to discuss, or even acknowledge. The mutual trust and honesty we shared was long broken by unshed tears and forbidden secrets. Whatever I put to paper sounded rehearsed, forced; frankly, it just sucked. Unlike my friends who had dedicated journals and diaries, my teenage years were not good years for me as a writer…mostly because they were just so confused for me as a young girl.
Luckily, my love and I would be given another chance to rekindle. They say if you love something let it go, and it if comes back…
For me, writing shows me who I am. I can read what I’m saying, and more importantly…what I’m not saying…and get a great picture of what I’m experiencing in life in that moment. Growing as a writer has helped me to grow as a person. The times when I’ve been my most loquacious were the periods of extreme personal and emotional growth, self love and deeper understanding of my own mind and my needs. Many times when I’ve gone months or even a year without a new word on the page were times of great turmoil or upheaval for me. Usually, if I can’t write, it’s because there’s a truth that I’m running away from and haven’t come to terms with. Yet. But the great thing about my relationship with writing [and this is the point I’ve wanted to share with you!] is that my love is always there. Ready to pick me back up and take me to the next level of self discovery on my journey. Being in a place where I can now monetize my passion is AMAZING…but being in a place where my passion allows me to mentor others on their own transformative journey is more than priceless. It’s transcendent.
So let’s get started.
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Tell me in the comments what writing has done for you or what you’re hoping to gain by jumping into it headfirst this year? What are you looking for from our community here or what do you hope to share that will help someone else on their journey? I’m so excited to hear from you all and get to know you!
I can’t wait to read what you’re writing!
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