Monday, August 4, 2008

How Messy is it? The road back to writing...

I come from a family where presentation is everything. You should look a certain way and act a certain way and live a certain way or else there will be blood. (Okay, maybe not blood, but you get the idea.) I've finally come to terms with the fact that I can't do that. I don't know many people who can thrive within boundaries given to them by someone else.

One of the many pieces of my life that I compromised over the years was writing. I wanted to be a writer, or more specifically a real writer, someone who would be published. I started to write poetry when I was in fifth grade and had some poems printed in a local paper. I branched out in to short stories and more detailed poetry (that didn't have to rhyme) as I grew older and passed through my high school years.

I had an opportunity in high school to be part of a career explorers' group that focused on journalism writing. They met about an hour from my home. The chosen few were grouped together to work on material for a much larger daily paper. My parents said, "No, it's too far away and a waste of time." End of story.

Then college beckoned, which is a saga in itself, and away I went. I was told that in no way would I be allowed to have a major that had anything to do with writing. It wasn't the type of career that would ever bring me money. It wasn't a good enough career. They weren't paying for me to learn more about the one thing that I had loved and sustained me for years during a rough adolescence.

I went to college and I dutifully did as told. I majored in International Affairs and minored in Spanish and History. I went to a wonderful college, one that you've probably never heard of but it was wonderful anyway, called Sweet Briar College in Virginia. I did exactly what I was supposed to do, for the most part.

In four years I never took an English class as I had tested out of Freshman English.

I took two creative writing classes in four years. They were probably the best classes of my life because I was able to do what I loved most. I wrote and shared with my classmates (anonymously, the beauty of it all) my writing and received feedback from them and my professors.

As a matter of fact, I have this bulletin board hanging on my apartment wall that contains sundry items that are special to me. One of these items comes from my college years, a hand-written note from a professor. It's dated 5/23/90.

"Your best pieces were the last two - "The Softball Game" and "My Daddy". You have talent & I hope you'll continue to write."

Two sentences from a man who no doubt has long forgotten me. Two sentences that have been hanging on that board for eighteen years. Two sentences that make me think that I can do this thing that I was told not to do many years before.

Eighteen years later I started to write, for me.

5 comments:

David said...

Blogging is a great way for us frusted writers to get our feet wet and to work on our story telling.
I an MSer also and like you am trying to limit the effects that it has on my life.
Nothing good or rewarding is usually eayy.
Nice start,lok forward to more.

Weeble Girl said...

Thanks David, for your support. I checked out your blog but you stopped writing it. Will you do more? The little I read made me laugh.

Good luck with the MS.

bjm said...

Excellent post! I will be back often for updates. How wonderful that something you so enjoy-and are so gifted with-will bring so much to others.
BJM

David said...

www.myspace.com/islandpapo

who said...

keep on writing, weeble...for yourself and others will discover the beauty of it...