This week’s writing challenge focuses on “Writerly Reflections.” Being that my last post was rather gargantuan, I’m attempting to keep this one brief.
A significant moment in my journey as a writer occurred in my senior year A.P. English class. I was assigned to write a descriptive story, three pages of length that involved all of the senses (smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste). This was the first assigned paper where I felt completely free to express myself, unrestrained by specific guidelines. This story was “Trixie Creek,” a narrative about a girl’s dog being shot in the woods and her fight to save its life. Long story short, the poor dog died but in a very dignified and beautiful way.
When I read it aloud in class, several of my classmates actually cried. In a completely non-sadistic way, I felt empowered that my writing could have such an impact. Throughout the day, other peers who weren’t in that class came up to me, wanting to read my story. I was in utter disbelief that people would actually ask to read my writing. The icing on the cake that day was when my English teacher, a very intelligent and intimidating woman, pulled me aside in the hallway.
“This is book-worthy. You should really consider writing a book.”
With that, she left.
Since then, her words have echoed in my mind. The thing is, I know she didn’t say it to make me feel warm and fuzzy. She definitely had her favorites, and undoubtedly, I wasn’t one of them.
Several years later, I had a severe manic episode that nearly destroyed every part of my life. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I just sat down one day and started writing. What started as a method of coping quickly turned in to a story that wasn’t about me whatsoever. Whenever I wasn’t sleeping or working, I was writing. I had no idea where it was going, but I knew I couldn’t stop. As my health improved, the story unfolded more beautifully.
I’m still fascinated by the twists and somersaults my story has taken while transforming into something completely different than I had once imagined. Throughout this process, I’ve discovered that inspiration often comes at the least expected moments. I’ve learned that I can’t push or force myself to develop the story, and to never judge or reject the concepts that come from my soul. It is when I write that I am most alive and connected with my spirit.
Nearly one year ago, I wrote the last sentence of my first book. (I won’t say I “completed” it because I’m certainly nowhere close to being finished with it). Since then, I’ve been reluctant to take further steps in developing my book. One reason being that I’ve felt completely lost and intimidated by the process of editing, revising, marketing, publishing, etc. Though it has taken some intensive soul-searching, I’ve realized the main force holding myself back is the fear of rejection. I’ve read failure stories left and right, and I don’t have the egotism to delude myself into thinking I’m an exception to the norm.
While perusing several writing resources, I read that one of the best platforms for aspiring authors is blogging. I resisted this on the basis that there was no possibility anyone would care to read my about my thoughts, goals, and passions. However, it is my dream to change the world with my writing, and knowing that my book was far from seeing the world, I reconsidered the prospect of blogging, as it could potentially be a more immediate way to make a difference.
Then I thought, “How can I create a blog that will actually bring value to my readers?”
I sincerely believe that we all have something to teach one another. Being that I’ve read numerous self-help books on achievement, motivation, and inspiration, I reasoned that I would have at least some content that might benefit my readers. Another aspect of my intention was to promote a connection with readers, in which we were able to empower each other.
After blogging for just over one month, I’ve already met such remarkable people and found several resources to further develop my skills as a writer. I’ve gained so much support and encouragement from people whom I deeply admire, and I strive to return all they have blessed me with. To be accepted and supported unconditionally restores my faith in humanity. Where I live, my outlook on life is considered unrealistic and a waste of time. Though, I’ve met such amazing people here that prove to me that anything is possible. I love you all.
With gratitude and respect,