How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
This is a question I get a lot from friends and family, and recently from readers. It’s a confusing question for me, because I never decided I wanted to BE a writer, I just was one. Writing was never an option for me, it was a need. The first journal I can remember was a red, fuzzy square with a picture of Winnie the Pooh on the front. When you pressed his belly, the little red lights on the front would blink and Pooh’s voice would echo from the pages, “There’s a rumbly in my tumbly…time for something sweet.” I’ll never forget it. I wrote about my first boyfriend in there. I was 8, and we held hands when the class lined up to go places. We broke up at the end of the year because my family moved to Maine, it was very tragic
As a junior in high school, I would sit in French class – first period – and write in my journal. My teacher repeatedly asked me to stop, but it became clear to him after a certain period of time that this was necessary for me. If I didn’t write first thing, I wasn’t as sharp, as clear, as focused. Every notebook, journal and day-planner I’ve owned in my life has been scribbled with reflections, notes and reminders unrelated the to purpose of the book. I’ve always found that writing before bed or before I start my day, helps me clear my head of all the noise and be productive.
My dream board has an image on it right now, the silhouette of a yogi in full lotus pose, hands in a root chakra mudra. The image says “take time to do what makes your soul happy.” This is why I write, this is why I practice yoga, and get my nose stuck in books. This is why I paint and look for soulful ways to spend my time, and mindful people to share it with.
I’d love to find that red Winnie the Pooh journal, it’s probably still in the attic of one my parents’ homes. I’d love to see what I couldn’t wait to write down, what I didn’t feel safe telling anyone else. When I was younger, really until I finished high school, my journals were strictly confidential. I wrote only for myself, only to heal alone, never to share. My mother read a journal once, and was horrified by the things she read…note to my future self, there are some things you don’t want to know about your 14-year-old daughter, just love her and give her birth control.
It wasn’t until college that I started feeling the urge to share what I’d written, and it wasn’t until the summer after my junior year that I found an audience worth sharing it with. My fellow World Vision interns were safe, accepting, spiritual and kind. I shared with a small group first, and then found the courage to begin sharing online – though I never posted the blogs on facebook, and very few people every actually read them. Still, I was putting myself out there.
So, I write to understand my own emotions.
And, I write to understand my interactions with others.
And, I write to clarify and consider the circumstances around me.
And, I write to try to make sense of the chaos in our world these days.
And now, I write to try to reach others who are suffering in silence like I did for far too long.