Waldo Canyon Fire prompted me to look through my things and start purging important documents, mementos, and other items I have collected over the years. As I sat down and rummaged through a large Rubbermaid container, I came across an old Trapper Keeper. Remember those? This one had a unicorn floating through the baby blue sky amidst rainbows and castles. I knew exactly what was in there – my writing from my teenage years.
Inside one of the folders was a stack of notebook paper filled with about fifty poems. As I am sure you can imagine, teenage girls think an awful lot about teenage boys. Therefore, most of the poems were of the love variety. Looking through them, I know realize why my poem-writing days ended before I reached twenty. The words on these pages were filled with sappiness, shallowness, and tons of rhyming syllables. God awful mostly.
In other pockets of this fantasy-themed organizer, I found journal entries. Words from a fifteen year old girl’s perspective filled up more lined notebook paper. In the margins were doodles of hearts and flowers mixed in with smiley faces. Some hearts expressed frowns and cracks down the middle. Oh, the drama!
I realized as I went through these stacks of angst and the emotional seesaw of infatuation and broken hearts, getting my thoughts down on paper was always liberating for me. The cage that confined my thoughts never did last very long.
The gifts I acquired from writing all these years may apply for many writers. I have learned to fully examine life, always looking for the details combined with the desire to explore interesting ideas and people. Rehashing these experiences and putting them into the written word.
Being able to gain perspective by releasing my thoughts from my mind out into the open. Going through good times and bad through the writing process.
My mind often fills up and then some of it overflows into my heart, where is tumbles around until I can express it in writing. Writers often have an acute sense of inner perspective and outer observations. We meditate on thoughts at the most inopportune times, which is why it is important to always have a notepad and pen handy.
Writers Often Write for Themselves
Much of my deeper and personal thoughts are not shared with the public. But for me. A catharsis. Writers write for themselves. And if it is good, they will share it. But only if they choose to.
When I was a teenager, I probably had a lot I wanted to say. At that age, it all seems to important, so life-changing. Usually it is not. But it often feels that way. At that age, I was probably not mature enough to write deep, profound poetry to express my thoughts, but the need to write was there.
This has not changed. My skills and vocabulary had improved, and I rarely incorporate rhyming schemes into my writing. But I have to write or the words stayed trapped like wild animals kept in a cage. They need to be free. Writing is liberating, even in the most mundane topics. Through awful poetry, freelancing, creative stories, blog posts, or articles, I am a writer. It’s who I am. And I can’t escape it.