Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Writing Is Hard...Or Is It?

As long as I can remember, I've loved writing. Actually, it might be more accurate to say I love words. I love language. Reading and writing are two of my very favorite things to do. With that being a true statement, I've spent a good amount of time over the last few years feeling ashamed of myself for not doing either of those two things more. When I was young, I would speed through book after book as fast as I could get my hands on them, and this continued through high school. By the time I got to college, reading had become something I did because I had to, not for pleasure. My desk was full of textbooks and other assigned readings for class, and I rarely picked up a book to read "for fun." I kept vowing that after school I would find the time to read again. I continued asking for books for Christmas and birthdays, and never leaving Barnes and Noble empty-handed, but also continued failing to make time for reading. I don't have a good reason why, and that distresses me. For a long time it was easy to say that being a book lover and avid reader was a part of who I was, and suddenly saying it no longer felt true.

My experience with writing has been fairly similar. I've got journals and diaries and notebooks stashed away from back when I was 6 or 7 years old. I made up goofy little stories and wrote them down with all the enthusiasm and creativity I could muster. In middle school I started writing poetry and got into fan-fiction. I was super cool, trust me. I compiled more and more notebooks and wrote dozens of poems and stories that for the most part I never shared with anyone. Writing was for me, and it always has been, but I also had dreams that maybe one day I would write something that others would love and could connect to the way I had with my favorite poems and stories. It wasn't until college that I wrote my first blog, Dehydration and Procrastination, and I realized people (albeit a small audience) actually enjoyed my writing. Even though I was writing as a creative outlet for myself, and as a way to relieve some of my stress in my final year of school, the encouragement and positive comments really inspired me to keep going. I kept up with it off and on for about two years before I neglected it for another five. As much as I enjoyed that blog, I think I had set the bar too high for myself. Right off the bat I tried to supplement my humorous stories with cartoons, and I am NOT an artist. There was no pressure to be a "good" artist, because I acknowledged that my drawings were bad, and that was kind of the point, but there was pressure to keep them consistent. I started to feel like the drawings were more important than the writing, and that was never what I wanted. So I stopped.

About two years later, I started this blog. Originally I called it "Love, Wanderlust, and Other Musings," but as I opened it up today to start (finally) writing again, I felt again that I was setting a standard for what I was writing. Sure, "other musings" left it pretty open, but what if I didn't want to write about love all that often? Or what if I wasn't feeling any wanderlust in my life? Instead, I want this blog to be whatever I feel it should be on any given day. I want to feel free to express myself in any form. No doubt I will write about love, because I have an incredible husband who is currently in our basement playing "Stairway to Heaven" on his guitar and making me fall in love all over again. (Who doesn't love a musician, right?) He's encouraged me almost every day to start writing again, and I love him for that as well. And no doubt I will feel wanderlust again, because there are dozens of places I would love to travel to. Sometimes though, I'll probably just write a poem. Maybe one of these days I'll write a short story. Maybe I'll tell a humorous story about my life, and maybe it will have drawings. Who knows? That's the beauty of it though. All that matters is that I write. If you're interested in following along as I pick back up on my writing journey, welcome. If something I say inspires you or stirs any sort of emotion in you that you feel like sharing, please do! If you have a good book recommendation, pass it along! I sincerely hope my writing journey parallels with reading more as well. If you want to read along quietly and stay anonymous, that's just fine too. We're all here for our own reasons, and my reason is to rekindle my love for writing. Because I've found writing difficult for the last few years, but I know it doesn't have to be.