In third grade, we wrote pages and pages of poems. Towards the end of the year, Mrs. Peterson (my beloved teacher) and some other room parents bounded our poems into books with carefully chosen covers. I still have that book of poetry. It has come with me through numerous moves – the biggest and most eventful one being my move out of my childhood room and 3,000 miles away to my college dorm room. Everywhere I went my book of poetry went with me. It was one of my prized possessions. It was clear that I enjoyed writing and being able to express myself through writing. I wrote countless stories, newsletters, essays, speeches, and poems growing up.
However, I got to college, and my freshman English class rocked my world. All of the sudden, I doubted my writing skills and wondered how I even passed high school English. I was devastated, disappointed, and discouraged. Being a political science major, I had to continue writing all throughout college and it was hard. I even ended up flunking a class because I pretty much ended up plagiarizing a paper. It was a nightmare and I began to hate writing.
I still feel very shaky about my writing and especially this blog. I cross my fingers and hold my breath every time I post this or submit any kind of writing to anything. But maybe it’s how it should be – keeps me humble. Blogging has always been a personal thing for me. Many times, I’m writing for myself and not really thinking about who might be reading what I write. I have found that writing from the heart is always a win – most of all for me.
When I write, I am giving voice to the inner parts of me. Sometimes it’s something deep, dark, and hidden and other times, it’s just stuff that I want to process in my head because it’s been tossing around for a while. If someone relates and benefits from it, even if it’s just one person, it’s totally worth it. It helps me to feel connected with others and to reach out in ways that I can’t in person. I’ve made so many wonderful friends through things that I’ve written and blogged.
I also love reading what others have written. It helped me so much when I was a stay-at-home mom and didn’t know what I was doing. It helped me to understand the inner life of people near and dear to me that I don’t get to see often. It helped me to be much more introspective and thoughtful about my life. It is helping me to process my past, my present, and my future. It is helping me become a better and more thoughtful mom. It is helping me to be a better wife, daughter, and friend.
Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be anything. It can just be a jumble of your thoughts. It doesn’t matter. Just start writing. Flex that muscle. Your story is beautiful, compelling, and needed in this world. I want to read it and hear your story, so start writing!
This month is NanoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Here’s a little description about it from their site: (http://nanowrimo.org)
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.
If a novel is not for you, then consider writing to submit a piece to audition for the Listen To Your Mother Show (Yes, we’re having one in Boston!!!). If you have a story about motherhood, your mom, your wife who is a mom or wants to be a mom, anything that gives a microphone to Mother’s Day – write it! We want to hear your story!
So take a chance and try this new thing today – start writing!