Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's the Write Thing to Do

This morning I just want to say a little bit about writing.
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I have had a passion for writing since I was too young to effectively use a pencil. In my baby book files there is a story called Hommel and Pommel that I "wrote" and my dad transcribed for me. I was three years old. 
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Granted, the story had no perceivable plot, my sentence structures were poor, and the characters were quite one-dimensional, at best. J

....But seeing my words written down on that piece of paper? It was a feeling I wanted to last forever.

And so ever since, I have written.... except for those times when I was most afraid.

Because, for me, writing is such a sacred and special thing. When I went through the very worst times in my life, the only writing I did - the only writing I felt that I could  do - was in my heart. 

Because putting things down on paper, to see what I was going through and how I felt, all spelled out in black-and-white? The very thought of it was torture.

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And so my pen fell silent.

But thankfully, the Lord brought me through it all. As my beautiful, wonderfully talented friend Dwija remembered so eloquently the other day. 


Now I am older and - hopefully, anyway - a little bit wiser.

Now I know that writing is one of the very best things we can do for ourselves when life is hard. 

And when it's not so hard.

So I started this blog. I created it to record the life of our family, and to share it with other family and friends. I also created it to begin putting together the fragmented pieces of my past through mediums such as fiction, poetry, and responding to writing prompts. So far, so good. 

So far so great!

So far.... the best thing I've done in my life, second only to being converted, marrying my soulmate and having babies.

And the coolest part about it? Other people seem to kind of like it, too. Who knew? 

Total bonus, to be able to put down thoughts and memories in a semi-organized and meaningful fashion.... and then have people read them, like them, even comment on them. Wow. 

Could I be any more grateful?? 

There were two comments, actually, which inspired me to write this post down in the first place. The first was made by my beautiful, wonderfully talented friend Katie to my other beautiful, wonderfully talented friend Mary Lauren. (Yes, I mean that; I am serious. All three of these women are absolutely beautiful, and so very talented that I feel honored just rubbing Frogger shoulders with them.) 

This is what Katie said:

"I think you’re teaching your children to be incredibly brave…because writing is one of the bravest of artistic mediums. It’s revealing all that it is in your heart and head and putting it on paper."

When she said that, did she know she would go down in quote history? Did she know she was putting my formless thoughts into perfectly formed words? 

Did she know that when I read it my eyes would fill with tears and my hand would involuntarily go to my heart? 

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And then, as if that wasn't profound enough, she added a quote by Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith: 

"There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."

Clearly that says it all. So I was not alone in my fearful thoughts of putting it down in black-and-white. Yes, it is like you are bleeding your life right onto the page. But now it is a good kind of ....bleeding. (Meh. Gross. Sorry. But it's such  a great metaphor!)

So I've decided I'm going to continue to pay good attention to comments on blogs I love. You never know when one will jump out and grab you, make your heart sing and your fingers itch to type.

Here is one last comment, one that I wrote to someone else. Unfortunately I can't remember to whom it was written. I copied and pasted it to email to myself, and promptly forgot. :) (So if you read this and recognize it, let me know would ya?) But since I'm the one who wrote it, I find no shame in sharing it with you:

I think... therefore I am.
I am... therefore I write.
I write, therefore I think some more!
And that makes me write some more...
And still... be who I am.
It's the Circle of Life, baby!

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Okay that last line is a little over-the-top cheesy, but if you don't know that I'm cheesy, you just don't know me. But if you read what I write, you will! Oh, you will.  Mmuuahahahaha

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This post was in response to a writing prompt (go figure!) from the Red Dress Club's Red Writing Hood challenge. The instructions were as follows: "What you know" doesn't necessarily always mean "your comfort zone." For this week, take what you know out of your comfort zone. 

So I figured I'd write about my comfort zone. 

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful, E! I'm so happy you've found peace and comfort again in the thing you love to do most :)

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  2. Lovely! And yes, Katie's words were beautiful but so are yours! Glad you've found our little writing community through the Lightning and the Lightning Bug.

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  3. I've never shared this with you. Or, come to think of it, no one in the blogsphere.........

    When I was in in-patient treatment, I upped my journaling. Having always journaled, I needed it then, more than ever. The words spewed out onto the spiral notebook were raw, honest, and for the majority, painful. Tucked safely within this notebook were the letters read to me at the intervention which led to my treatment.

    We, "writers", are a group of individuals who "get" something deep and intraspective about the whole writing process. We "get" how it soothes our soul while at the same time jumbles our mind, tugs at our heart...

    We get that.

    Journaling serves many purposes. One, for me, is to visit a particular journal when I'm led to do so and celebrate personal growth, observe how I worked painfully THROUGH difficult events.

    Well e,, remember the story about the items my ex destroyed of mine. Every one of my journals was in that list of very important personal items.

    Moreover, I felt as though I had been raped, victimized and abused. Journals are sacred. There are unwritted rules that we NEVER enter another's journal. NEVER!!

    For ten years, I lay my pen down, only to pick it up last fall when I began my blog.

    Your writing is exquisite. I fell in love with you my friend through your animated words!! Your gift is our reward..
    Keep it up.
    Always
    ~d

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  4. @ Dweej ~ Thank you, so much. I'm pretty stoked about it, too. ;)

    @ ML ~ Thank you as well! You are too kind! I can't even tell you how grateful I am to be a part of L&LB. It's by far and away the coolest discovery I've made since I discovered blogging in the first place. Really. You guys amaze me!

    @ Dawn ~ Oh my gosh, please don't tell me!!! I'm so very sorry he took away your journals. I hold a firm belief that in heaven all that stuff will be restored to us... in some form or another.

    I accidentally recorded part of my wedding over part of Jaeden's baby videos. I know, who does that? But yeah, I hope to be able to watch anything I want all over again one day. :)

    And I'm so glad you were able to find that peace and introspection in your journal during (and after) treatment. It is one of my most recommended therapies for ANYone.

    And could you be any sweeter??? Thank you for the beautiful compliment, I think I will take that and make a poster to hang in my bathroom out of it, so when I get down on how I look, I can remember there's more to me than ...ahem... fat. (Read today's post and you'll know why I say that.) Really, your compliments mean the world.

    They all do! Thanks again guys...

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  5. Yes, this is awesome!! I think it's so cool you knew at such a young age you wanted to be a writer.

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  6. You, my friend, are AWESOME! I agree with everything, and I'm so glad you've been able to enjoy your love of writing through your blog. I know I'm enjoying you sharing it. :) Oh, and thanks for quoting me, bud. That made my entire YEAR.

    I hope you know what a difference YOU make!

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  7. I LOVE that Dad did that. What a shining moment of his fatherhood. Hearing you talk about it makes me miss him even more. I loved all of our writing moments together. I think he is definitely responsible for us using pen and paper to really let out our emotions. When I was 10 years old I wrote a report that my teacher questioned me on (assuming that Mom or Dad wrote it) so he talked to Dad and he said, "Well, I bet you wouldn't think she was reading a college level writing book at the age of 10 either would you?" haha, and I was, thanks to Dad. I still have it. I'll have to share it with you. Dad used it at BYU and then wrote a little note in the front and gave it to me. Okay I'm going to start crying now. I guess I better go write about it. LOL ;)

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  8. What a great, vulnerable take on the prompt! I love that you started writing at 3 and even then realized the power of your words telling tales. May we all feel that heard!

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  9. I'm kind of dying to see that story you wrote when you were three...next time?

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