What Writing Means to Me

Introduction:

I’m shy, well introverted. I’m anxious.I’m over emotional, I overthink things. Sometimes I over-react and rant. We all express ourselves in different ways. I write. Not everyone is going to read this. Not everyone is going to agree or care about what I have write or say or do. That is okay. For those of you that do. Thank you, It means alot.

“Have compassion for yourself when you write .There is no failure-just a big field to wander in.” – Natalie Goldberg

 

Part 1: How it Started

I remember it was in the fourth grade. A fellow student had written a fictional story about her friends and what their lives would be like in the future. She let me read some. I thought it was cool and ” Hey I can do that too.” So I wrote my own version about my own friends. My friends  seemed to like them even though the stories weren’t very realistic. I think I filled at least 5 notebooks, that I still have somewhere.

It wasn’t until 8th grade that I started writing stories with my own fictional chararcters. It was about two friends that go on a roadtrip across Canada.I think I was doing a social studies report on Canada so I thought I’d create a story from that.

I wrote another story for an english assignment about an archaeologist and her crew working on a temple in Eygpt. There was mystery ,action, and characters I really enjoyed writing about. Both of these stories needed more research , but I had fun writing them.

I also wrote poems , and even though I was not that good at public speaking I would still read them for special occassions at church and that was my first experince sharing my work with people that were not my family or close friends. It felt good.

High school, I mainly revised the stories about my friends trying to make them more realistic and changing stuff that didn’t work, keeping stuff I liked. I did not really write too many orginal stories during this time. When I graduated highschool , I did not think about going to college for writng, or trying  to write as a career. I saw it as just a hobby.

During the summers  I worked as a counselor at summer camp. I was the drama and puppet leader and many times I would re-write and write skits for the kids to preform. They got mixed reviews  and it did take a lot of my free time. However, it was fun, I loved camp and it was a rewarding job. Yet, camp only lasted for a season and I would need to figure out what I was going to do .

Eventually, after much prayer and sound advice I went to college in the fall of 2008. I only planned on going for one year, but I made friends and felt that I needed to continue going and get my bachelors. When I wasn’t doing homework or hanging out with friends I would write some,but nothing special.

It wasn’t until one day I was sitting next to my friend in class and happened to peek to see what she was writing. The first line got my attention

The bell rang over her head as she entered through the shop door to get out  of the rain pouring outside.”

 

I read the rest of what she wrote and said, ” You are a off to a good start.” She knew I like to write and handed it to me, ” Your turn. Pick up where I left off and we will switch back and forth.”  So we did, and even added a third friend to the mix. After a while I got to thinking, ” This is fun , but it needs to flow, they have different personalities.” so they suggested instead of one character to make them twin sisters instead. One good and one bad. Soon I realized I was writing more and more and they were writng less. I apologized, but they assured me that it was okay for me to take over. I did and let them read it after. To this day that has been one of my favorite stories.

Graduation came and again I did not know what to do with my life , camp had been my only job .  I thought I should keep doing that and maybe some day open my own camp. I even got a job at a camp that operated more than just in the summer, and I hoped to get a full time postion. It did not work that way. Somehow I  knew that doing camp full time was not for me, I was not as energetic as I had been when I was younger and was not as excited as I once had been. I did not feel fully dedicated to make it my career. That chapter of my life came to a close, and I felt lost.

This led to one of the longest low points of my life…

Part 2 Writing and God kept/keep me sane

 “The life of a writer is a lonely day to day battle waged largely against oneself.” -John Tullius 

So I was a single, 20 something, with no job, who lived withher parents. A loser in my eyes and I assumed in everyone else’s eyes too.  It seemed like,in no time at all everyone (literally) started asking me  ” Now what are your plans?” ” You know you need a job right?!” ” I hear Mcdonalds is hiring” and so on. I know people were just trying to be helpful, but it was overwhelming, frustrating and annoying.  I was well aware off all of that , but did not mean I wanted to listen to it or do what they suggested.I was selfish and prideful. I thought since I was a college graduate I was entitled to be picky about where I should work , even though I couldn’t afford to be picky. I became apathetic and extremely depressed. I was bitter toward people whose lives were going better than mine. I hated hearing about people getting engaged,married, buying homes , and having babies -all things that I wanted , but didn’t have. I felt like I did not have friends at times or that they were sick of my miserable attitude.

It was easier for me to throw a pity party than actually work hard, put myself out there,stop comparing myself to others, and be the person I needed to be to achieve those things. It took me along time to come to that realization.I’m still working on that actually.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” -Henry David Thoreau

One day, I got a letter in the mail from Long Ridge Writer’s Group. I forgot I had wrote a story to try to join their program. I had been accepted, so after my parents got on board I sent my reply with my first payment.  A short time later, I recieved a package with the books, and materials I needed to do the eight assignments. They were geared to help a person be published in a magizine. I also got assigned a mentor to help critique my work and guide me through the process. I was excited to work on, submit, and get feed back on my what I wrote. I had a goal and I was moving forward . I was happy.

I only had a couple more assignments and left when I fell behind and I did not have money for payments. I got a letter of concern , but they had to give me a deadline and if it was not met I was out of the program. I did not meet it.

That spring my grandfather passed away and sorrow set in. Yet, despite all the sadness God was at work.

“Life is God’s novel; let God write it.” -Issac Bashevis

It was a wake up call for me to get my life back on track. God had started to soften my heart. I started reading my Bible and praying more. I kept a faith journal. I even started to get more involved in church. I allowed God to work in my life and I let go a lot of things that were holding me back.

Last summer, I got a job and faced my fears and passed my driver’s test. I would never would of been able to do it with out God and lot’s of prayer. Things had fallen into place. God had given me peace.

Part 3 More than a Hobby

“Your attitude is everything.Believe in yourself and trust your material. To be a successful writer ,write every single day,whether you feel like it or not. Never, never give up, and the world will reward you beyond your wildest dreams.” -Alex Haley 

So it has been a year now. I have a job, but I still am not married or have kids. I still want those things, but until those things happen there is no reason I cannot try and get published. Not for fame or cash, but because I want to and need to. To share something with others, to make a connection. Maybe touch a life and make a difference some how. That means to not just talk about it, but to do it.  A page or just a paragraph is better than nothing. Each word is a step closer. It’s time to take that risk.

Every accomplishment large and small begins with the same decision: I’ll try” -Ted Key

To those of you that read all of this. Thank you. I want your encouragement and constructive criticism and of course your prayers.

 

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The Good Ole Days

I did not actually grow up in what older people refer to “The Good Ole Days”. So I guess my ideas of that time are a bit romanticized,and sometimes I wish I grew up then instead of now. Times were simple,cheaper, and seemed to be a life of ease. Who would not like the sound of that? Sure there was not all the technology advances we have now. No cell phones, computers, no ipods etc. Right now that seems pretty nice since those things seem to consume us. Back then people had more quality conversation weither around the dinner table or just walking down the street. I could be wrong ,but it seems like there was a lot less drama. Plus I feel like manners and morals were admired. Now it seems like they are almost completely forgotten. Im not saying people are not nice, helpful or caring, it just is not the same. Im also not saying we should try to recreate the past, and live exactly like that. No I’m thinking more of a balance of the old and new. Without the negitive mocking that sometimes is given to those that have ” old fashioned” values. Say for example picking on a person because they are saving themselves for marriage or choose not to live with there boyfriend/girlfriend before marriage. Just because in todays cultural everyone is doing it and it is accepted as the norm does not mean that the rest should be seen as weird or all that done away with. Of course a person is going to do what they want and everyone wants to be accepted and be able to do what they want without judgement. I guess it is just seems that there as been a flip in society and what was wrong back then is now okay and what was right back then is now wrong.  There are people with high morals, low morals, and then those that are in between . Those with high morals condem those with low while the ones with low morals think those with high morals are prudes. The ones in the middle think a certain amount of good and bad is alright for a balanced life. In a way I guess that is just how the world has always worked . There has always been a “battle” between right and wrong good and bad.I would say , ” Can’t we all just get along.” but of course that fact is we can’t. Even though people will never fully get along or accept each others life styles does not mean cannot have bit more of those good old values. 

It is about time

The phrase, ” It is about time” is usually a harmless thing said and it usually does not bring offense. I have even said it, but recently I have been thinking about what is really implied by this phrase. When people say it, it usually after something happens that has been a long time coming. For example, when people say, ” Joe and I are getting married.” and people reply  ” It is a about time.” Yes it is good that they are getting married, but when the reply is ” It is about time” to me it shows how impatient the person saying it was. Like it was a inconvience to them to wait for the couple to get married. Like, all that time leading up to it was a waste and finally what they wanted to happen ,finally happened. So what if the couple waited 3 years before getting engaged. Maybe the time wasn’t right up until then. What if they had rushed and were married sooner and it was not the right time and they just were miserable. Shouldn’t their time, be just that- their time. They shouldn’t have to do something is other people’s time frame , just because other people want it done sooner. The other people don’t realize what other things are factors.  They shouldn’t have to feel like because they waited that they were wrong for doing it. 

As usual I probably overthink , and make a bigger deal . I guess I just want people to know Im going to do stuff when Im ready and in my own time frame. I will not feel bad or sorry for it ” taking too long”. Stuff will happen when it happens. Some stuff should not be rushed. Just because something takes longer for one person than it did for another , doesn’t mean it is wrong. Okay say it was something was indeed a “waste of time” and could of been done quicker? First of all people could define wasting time differently, so that is a factor.( Situations always play a part in time too, each one is different). Sometimes, it happened in the past- too late then isn’t it that time is gone. Can’t go back and fix it- It is a mistake and a lesson learned. No need to fuss about what can’t be changed, just strive to do better what the next thing. 

I guess for me Im going to be more careful how I use the phrase, because I know I feel about it when people say it to me. 

Too Busy To Celebrate

I think this is the first December where I feel like I’m too busy and not always in the mood to celebrate. I feel like Christmas snuck up on me. Life has just been busy. Yet there have been some moments where joy us just rushed over me. When working at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center. I got to see/ hear about so many touching stories about children all around the world who got a gift that changed their life. To be able to be a part of that is just amazing. Another time was just sitting with my nephews watching a Christmas movie. Their childlike actions made me smile. Fellowshiping with family and friends eatting food and swapping stories just make me warm all over and I laugh until I cry. However, recently I have been reminded of a true reason to have joy…the birth of Jesus Christ. Everything else just doesn’t measure up. Here i have been running here and there shopping and going to parties but not cherishing the time with love ones or reflecting on Christ. I hope I make a point to do better this year and now on. 

Tis the Season to be Thankful

This blog is about Thanksgiving the sometimes over looked, and sometimes a  less apperciated holiday. It is not just about pilgrims,parades, tons of food, or football .  It is about friends and family and about being thankful for what you already have.Showing love and helping those less fortunate.  I admit I’m not always the most thankful person and I do not serve others as much as I should. It really should be something we are mindful of and are doing year around. However, tis the season to be thankful and I want to fill this blog with stuff that I’m thankful for.

  1. I’m thankul for God, because he is the great provider and promise keeper. He truely has blessed me.
  2. I’m thankful for Jesus Christ dying on the cross for my sins. I didn not deserve his grace, but I’m grateful he loved me enough to give his life for mine. *John 3:16
  3. I’m thankful for the Bible it is a guide and a comfort to my life. Im also thankful for prayer it really does changesthings.
  4. I’m thankful for my family.I love every member so much! My parents do so much for me, I would be lost without them. My siblings are great, they have always looked out for me. My grandparents, Aunts and Uncles keep life interesting and make me happy. My close cousins, are like siblibings to me and growing up with them has been the best. My neices and nephews  bring me so much joy and happiness I just want to hug them all , all the time. Also my church family has been such an encouragement to me over the years.
  5. I’m thankful for my friends. They are always there for me. even though I do not see them all the time I know they care for me. Life is better with them. Words can not fully express, how much they mean to me.
  6. I’m thankful for my home. My house is not a mansion, but it is warm,dry and safe. My room is a my escape. There is no place like home. I also love where Im located. it is in the country surrounded , by the best neighbors ever. Makes me smile
  7. I’m thankful for the necessities. Food , water and clothing. Without these things it is hard to survive. So many go without these. My prayers go to them and I hope I can help others in this area some how. Every little bit helps.
  8. Im thankful to live in America and for those who serve in the military , Thanks for protecting me and my freedoms. God Bless.
  9. Im thankful for nature. God made a beautiful Creation. I love the feel of grass on my feet, the clouds as they float, the trees when the wind blows thier colorful leves softly, the flowers in bloom, the smell of rain, and the cute animals. So much more 😀
  10. Im thankful for books to read. I love to escape to a different world and reality.
  11. Im thankful for music, it is the soundtrack to my feelings.
  12. Im thankful for my education,being wise and knowledgable is a powerful thing.
  13. I’m thankful for my health. Im luckier than most.
  14. Im thankful for my abilities and talents that God has given me. I hope to use them to benefit others and honor God
  15. Im thankful for men, even though they can be annoying jerks, they can also be sweet and funny. Plus could you imagine if the world was just filled with women? yikes!
  16. I’m thankful for technology even though it is possible to live without it, having it makes life so much easier.
  17. Im thankful for second chances, without them life would suck
  18. Im thankful for people that do kind deeds and self lessly help others. I owe so much gratitude to many that have done that for me.
  19. Im thankful the little things in life that often get over looked, but are so important
  20. Im thankful to be alive to see another day. I don’t want to waste what I have been given.

There is probably so much more to be thankful for, but this is a start. I hope I always remember to be thankful everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving ( in advance)

Helping Others

Helping others, should be something that we want to do . Not just because we know we should do it. Not because when we do we get praise or something in return. Usually when we help others for those reasons it isn’t satsifying ,and is actually selfish.  Often times we are too busy looking out for ourselves, or just too busy in general. Sometimes it feels like if we do not look out for  our own interest we get the raw end of the deal. Yet , who doesn’t like to get help when it is needed ?Plus ,when we help others it makes us feel good.I mean, when it is genuine and done without expecting something in return is when it is most rewarding. It is something that needs to be done more often. This world is a wreck, and is getting worse. Now more than ever , people need to help each other.( I’m not just ranting and pointing fingers at others, but this is also something I need to work on myself.) Even though no one person can change the whole world , or help every single person. Everyone can do a little something to help someone else. One day at a time , do something for others. Little ,by little it will make a big difference. 

Finding Self-Worth : A Pep Talk with Myself

 The defination-Self worth: the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person ; self-esteem ; self respect 

   Yet, for some reason I keep on trying to find my self worth through what other people think or say about me. I’m also looking for others approval ,respect, love, acceptence etc to define who I am as a person. Which is crazy ,since self -worth is how I value myself ,how I feel about myself ,and how much I respect myself.  I don’t won’t to correct it so much that I become a prideful, and vain person ;so into my self that  everyone avoids me and I can not stand myself. I also do not want to put myself down that I hate myself so much that it repels everyone , including myself. There needs to be a healthy dose of self love. How do I get self love/ self worth? Well first, I need to not let how others see me, affect me.They shouldn’t define who I’am. Second, I need a better attitude toward myself. If I’m constantly putting myself down or focusing on my flaws then it is impossible to love myself. Third, I need to tell myself that I’m important , that I matter and what I do is important too. Focus, on talents, skills, and strengths ! Lastly, I need to stop second guessing myself or letting other people make decisions for me. When I doubt myself and  my ablities or  let others run my life I lose myself.  Now to live in out for real!