Thursday, May 5, 2011

If I Wasn't Writing... what would I be doing?

Today was my last creative writing class. I have really enjoyed that class this semester. Some of the other students are really good writers, the teacher is a doll, the stories we read were relatively interesting (though some were really sad) and I feel like I grew and was inspired. However, during workshop I kept hearing the same phrase from some classmates, "well, I didn't know what to write but I just needed to write something."

This has been playing on my brain since a fellow student said it in our first workshop in February, and I heard it again this morning. For the class we were only required to complete one fiction story and one non-fiction story with a short poetry unit in the middle. I completed ten sestinas, four short stories, and began a novel. On top of that I write here, I wrote numerous essays for other classes and I still faithfully keep a paper journal. I never stop writing.

Even when I'm not thinking about writing, I am writing. I travel with a digital recorder to speak my thoughts while I'm driving so I can write them later. I love how words look on a page. When I have nothing on my mind to write about I doodle song lyrics into the margins of my notebooks. My history notes are covered in the names of people I love written over and over.

I have hobbies that have nothing to do with writing, of course. I have my fish tanks and gecko terrarium that I love playing with, and I have art, photography and cooking. But for as long as I can remember I have loved to write.

As a child I worked tirelessly to perfect how my letters looked, playing with the way I curled the lowercase g and how I signed my name until I found my own style. School shopping day was the best because I got new notebooks and pencils. In the fourth grade I wrote a twenty-four page biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I won my first writing contest at the age of 12. I was the youngest person in the competition.

So when I hear someone say, "well, I didn't know what to write but I just needed to write something," I am confused. I know that not everyone feels the way I do about writing and language, but it still catches me off guard. How could you not come up with something to write? I had to narrow down which stories to pass in for the final project and still wish I could have included more.

Hearing my classmates say these things really made me think about myself, my own writing, where I want to go with it. What I want to use my love of writing for. Feeling so differently about the assignments than some of my classmates felt made me feel like I was different. Like there was something separating me from my classmates. I am old enough, and confident enough, to know that these differences between us aren't bad differences on either end. Just differences. The diversity of life.

I'm looking forward to getting into upper-level writing/literature classes, where the other students share my passion for the written word. Maybe I won't be the only freak who loves working on these assignments, and who is sad to see the semester end?

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