Discovering the Relevance of Words
Take a second and think back to the very first poem/story you ever wrote. Did you know then that writing would be something that you love? If you read that piece today would you be proud of how far you’ve come as a writer or ashamed of what you wrote then? When I was in first grade I wrote my first story. The plot was simple; it was a story about an alligator who had no friends because all of the other animals were scared of him. One day, all of the animals were hanging out in the barn and a fire broke out. The alligator saved all of the animals and they became friends with him. My teacher sent me to this young writers convention and made me present my story to everyone and that was when I discovered my love for writing.
My mother, like most mothers, keeps a box of all of my awards, report cards and memorabilia of various achievements from when I was growing up. In this box is a journal that I had to keep in 4th and 5th grade. Reading back through it, I realized how much I have changed over the years and how much I’ve stayed the same. I had forgotten a lot of things in that journal. It had really old poems of mine, memoirs, goals, achievements, and school work. The best part about the journal was hearing my old narrative voice. I could hear a young John Fugman writing those words. I could picture myself in all of the situations I was describing.
Is blogging the modern-day journaling? Do any of you still keep an actual journal? A journal provides complete privacy where as a blog allows people to share in your thoughts. When you blog, do you blog for yourself or are you trying to impress people with your words? A person should always have some writing that is for their eyes only. When a situation first happens writing can be the perfect outlet to express yourself. However, most of the time a writer is too close to the situation to express themselves in a creative and comprehensive manner; the writing is mostly stream of consciousness and full of emotion. A journal is the perfect place for this. It is important that we create a “shitty first draft” as Anne Lamott would say. Get all of your ideas down on paper. Spew your language all over the page and then step away from the situation and clean it up later. It is not always important that your writing is “good”. Also, try journaling with a pencil and paper instead of online. There is something about a pencil and paper that really brings you closer to the written word. For me, it becomes more personal and allows me to really delve into my mind and express my current state of being. Take a minute to read over your old work. Find your oldest piece of writing and look at how far you’ve come as a writer. Try to reconnect with that feeling you had when you first discovered your love for writing. I promise, it will be worth it!