Discovering Writing

June 16th 2017

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“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” ~William H. Gass 

I really don’t remember where my love for writing came from or how I got to this point of passion where I take time to write every day. All I can remember is that I love notebooks and always have.

Ever since I was a child I loved notebooks. I loved having pretty little books to write down thoughts and to draw pictures and share stories in. I never planned to be a writer, I planned to buy notebooks; writing was secondary. Even now, at 22 years old, I still have notebooks scattered throughout my room. Piles of hard and soft covered books with lined and unlined paper. Some with tassel bookmarks and others with little bands to keep them shut or little locks or clips. I don’t know what attracts me to a notebook really, but there is just something so charming about a completely blank slate.

As I got older I realized that there was some value in my thoughts and my words so I began to write in those notebooks I kept for show. However, I often ran into a problem with the perfectionist in me (which I wrote about in my first post). I found myself starting notebooks in a specific format, hating what I was writing, and abandoning the book all together. That sort of put a damper on my love for writing for a while and a large reason I moved onto a digital platform as soon as I realized that was an option.

Writing started out as a form of story telling for me. When I was about 15 I would write little stories that would happen in my head. I could sit for hours and develop characters and relationships and incorporate symbolism into people’s actions or qualities. It was something I had a lot of fun doing. Writing for me at that point was like a game of Sims because I could make my characters look and behave in whatever manner I want and I could push the boundaries of feasibility whenever I pleased. These stories also helped me cope with my anxiety which was the first time I ever discovered something I could use as a coping mechanism so I am grateful for those stories keeping me sane in high school.

When I got to senior year of high school, writing became more of a way to track my personal growth while still aiding in managing my anxiety. I used to type out little entries every day. I would write about my day and my feelings and the people I interacted with and my expectations of the future. I wrote tons of lists which is still a large part of my writing style to this day. My late high school and early college writing was very much for me and not really written for an audience outside myself. It was cathartic and at that point in my life, it was what I needed. I have considered posting bits on my blog in the future to talk about the person I was and the person I am now but I still need to sift through my old stuff before committing to that idea.

My writing now is at this unique place where it isn’t just one thing. I write things for catharsis, but also for an audience which is something I am still getting used to. I have also been reading more than ever before so that has definitely lent itself nicely to developing my personal style when writing to an audience. I like to challenge myself with my writing now. Writing about more than just my personal life has really opened me up to looking at the world differently. I have explored a lot of topics about the human condition that have really interested me, delved deeper into books to write stimulating reviews, tried new things for the sake of having experiences that are worth sharing and lived my life fuller, learning lessons for myself and the people I write for.  Writing has truly enriched my life.

I am glad writing found me and chose me to put the world into words. I would love to believe that a girl who loves notebooks can change the world.~

Jess

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