There is nothing more daunting than a blank page. The elusive demand for words and thought and relevance – so much pressure. I have brought myself here because I recognize there is an importance to my being here, even if I cannot fully comprehend it right now. But I am here making an effort and am not really sure what to say. I know when it comes to writing the key to getting start is to just go – just write. It doesn’t have to be about much or anything really, but it is a process that gets your mind going.
I have been writing on and off my whole life, which is perhaps why I feel like something is wrong when I am not writing. There is a fairly consistent record of my day-to-day happenings from the age of 8 to probably 18 in the journals I kept growing up. There is a part of me that cannot bear with the thought of throwing those away. But there is another part, equal if not greater than the latter, that cannot bear the thought of anyone else knowing the intimate details of my mind – as superficial, silly and irrelevant as they were at times. If I keep them they will become someone else’s to deal with at some point in time; perhaps a partner, a sibling or future child – yikes. The 8-year-old version of me was so uncool, kind of mean and my spelling was horrendous. The 18-year-old version of me was trying so hard to be a strong independent person, but failing horribly in the wake of heartbreak and desperate attempts at fitting in. Sometimes I go back and read those journals and it is as though I am looking in on someone else’s life. Of course I realize those entries, stories and happenings were all me, and it makes me smile and cringe all at once. How big and consuming those events were at the time, and yet how little I can remember them now.
I don’t ever remember being an insatiable reader as a child, I read the standard Goosebumps and Sweet Valley books that everyone read, but I was an insatiable writer. I think I was about eleven that I started writing stories. It was like I suddenly realized that by writing I could create a world exactly as I wanted it, could experience things I longed to experience. Of course, they were never wildly imaginative stories, they were about other girls my age always similar to myself, but they were skinny and had brown hair, not my red hair and few extra pounds. I wrote about summer camps and cottages, going to dances and the trials and tribulations of dealing with mean girls. I spent hours pouring myself into some of those stories. I never shared them with anyone either, with the exception of one childhood friend Sarah. I would go to her house for sleepovers and I would read them aloud to her, catching her up on the pages I wrote since our last sleepover.
I dabbled with short stories, poetry and maintained a journal on and off. I started blogging a number of years ago as another attempt to keep my mind going, trying to ignite the creative flame. This very blog became a place for me to up my game – write more, write better, write with a sense of profession. It worked to an extent. But again, I have found myself in phases of being interested and uninterested. I found myself deterred from writing because I felt a need to constantly be doing or working on something – a new skill, a new recipe, a new discovery. In some ways it became a bit of chore. I had veered myself away from the ‘writing just to write’ in order to try and maintain a particular image. Sometimes journal type reflections, bits of creative writing or life inspirations are what I need in order to keep writing. And if writing is what matters, then why limit myself? I have realized that in my attempts to make a professional looking blog I was no longer writing for me, I was writing for someone else and what I thought they might like to see or read about.
I have decided that I am not going to do that anymore. I am writing for me. And if I happen to write something that someone else can appreciate or enjoy, then that is just a really great bonus. So get ready cause things are about to get real random.