My mom’s best friend from high school made me a coloring book for my 7th birthday. One particular page was blank, except for some simple script at the top that read “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up.”
I listed different things on that page over the next few years. My occupations of interest ranged from reference librarian (Don’t judge me, the mom on “Wishbone” had this job) to a dolphin trainer (What kid hasn’t wanted to be this?!) and several other um…random careers, including a heavy emphasis on working for the government as a spy.
Oh to be 12 again…actually no. Never again.
However, one occupation was listed on every entry, without fail.
For as long as I can remember, I have read and been read to, and consequently developed an abiding love of reading and writing. What drives me again and again to my journal or keyboard?
“We write to taste life twice.” – Anais Nin
While perusing Target one day, I saw this quote on a journal, and it struck a deep chord with me. We taste life as we experience it and as writers, we enjoy it a second time as we relive the moments in our head and carefully select words to frame those moments.
We write to find connections between ourselves and our fellow humans.
In one of my classes in college, we focused quite a bit on why people will always read stories about other people. One of the reasons is we like to make connections between our life experiences and others’ life experiences. Whether it is in an in-depth profile piece or an anecdote or a comedy bit, we enjoy, we laugh at, we remember these stories when we say to ourselves, “I’ve done something like this,” or “This is something that has happened to me.” Simple, but true.
Writing is therapy
Writing is a creative activity and I have only recently discovered how therapeutic it can be. I don’t know how it works for other people, but whether I jot down thoughts in my journal (I’ve been keeping journals for thirteen years now!) or produce a piece to be published, I have found that it truly clears my head and allows me to move forward.
The hard part
To say writing is therapy means a lot of soul-searching takes place, like on a daily basis.
Many times I’ve stopped to bow my head and repent because the very words I’m typing, I need to activate in my own life. Other times I’m reminded of a promise at just the right time. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing to my younger self or to the young girls in my life, and my heart brims with tenderness at the truth I hope gets planted in their lives.
Daily, I come face-to-face with my strengths, but also my weaknesses. I’ve had to to grapple with them, stare them down and subdue them every day, because as a freelance writer, I’m the only one getting in the way of me. I’m the only one I can blame for not progressing.
Do you know how humbling that is?
I’ve heard many writers say similar things, but always thought deep down it was just false modesty. But I’m starting to understand that those feelings are very real.
Want more behind the scenes on writing, the inspiration behind my blog, and the reason encouragement is so important? I talk about all of that in a 5-min vid!
Please excuse my top knot which was so on top that it didn’t make it in the frame. Yikes.