Time To Write Again

I used to write a lot.

It started with yellow and black journals, filled for writing practice in my two student home school.  However, I didn’t always enjoy writing there, where the latest grammatical concept or spelling word didn’t necessarily come easily.

But then there were the ‘side notebooks,’ created for pleasure during quiet time. Filled with pictures of stick figures and scribbles, history facts gathered from Liberty’s Kids, and ideas that could not be forgotten. My deepest, darkest secrets. The feelings that I didn’t necessarily want out, but which needed to find a place in. Writing was their way of doing that, my why of figuring, of learning when I didn’t know how.

Notebooks graduated to documents on a laptop when I was twelve and Mom trusted my typing skills. I was absolutely thrilled. Now it wouldn’t take so long to get my thoughts out, and maybe I’d actually finish something. You see, my childhood scrawling never really developed in the notebook and I was quite disappointed, since I was supposed to become an author as soon as possible.

Now when I look back, my memories are filled with words, in addition to the photographs and pictures that most people have. And sometimes, those words are what create the pictures and the videos inside my head. I am grateful for writing, and I love the words I have.

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I’ve been staring at documents–empty, full, partially filled–for the past three and a half months. Two papers, weeks of journals, a dozen show responses, half a million emails (and I’m not kidding!), four write-an-essay-exams, some devised and revised theatre, and one script analysis later, and I leave semester five with lots of written proof that I was there. It’s maybe more akin to the yellow and black journal I once held in grade school, yet it’s still writing. Writing still helps me in the same ways it always did, and through it, I am able to help.

But it’s time to really write again. Here. And in the notebooks and Word Documents, waiting to be filled. I like to think of schoolwork as just a practice for the real things yet to come.

It’s time to unload the stories, which have been stored up in this tired brain for the last three months. It’s time to reflect and process and remember. It’s time to write again.

It’s time to write again. I think it every morning when my “wake up reminder” rings for the tenth time, and I climb out of the covers reluctantly.

It’s time to write again, I say, crossing off one more thing from the ever growing list, and leaving an empty space for it.

It’s time to write again, I dream in rehearsal, in class, and while writing those papers.

But when I do, the words feel stiff. I press backspace much more than enter. I am tentative, shy, and utterly unsure. But why?

Was the child with her scrawling and facts and feelings? Was the young girl who could type for the first time?

Nope. If I remember correctly, there was very little hesitation, or none at best, in those writers’ hands. And that’s how the stories came to be, rough and awkward as they once were, but still they were there.

And with time, the words sweetened. But only with time spent making more words.

So it’s time to write again. For better or for worse.

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This post is in commemoration of my four year blog anniversary! That’s right–I first started writing in this corner of the internet on December 18th, 2010. I used to write a lot more back then, but I like to think of this as my writing space, nonetheless. This post is also my re-inaugeration back into the blogging and writing world, after my accidental hiatus over the last three and a half months. Expect to hear more from me over the coming weeks! 

A Reflection

Three years ago today, I began this journey called blogging. It was a cold, December day, probably very much like this one. The tree glimmered across the room and I sat at the desk, eagerly typing and backspacing, crafting and critiquing the early posts and pages.

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Back in the ‘early days’; this was probably one of the first photos I took for the blog.

I remember searching things on Google like “Christian teen bloggers” and “blogs by Christian teens.” I was so excited by my first comments and followers. I thought of myself as just beginning and that one day I’d have a huge following of people. I dreamed of profound posts with 38 comments and lots of discussions.

I had so much to say then. So many ideas ran through my head and images seemed to have wings in my imagination. And back then, I could get them out, it seemed. I even had to restrain myself from writing it all because I thought I should “ease into” blogging or something.

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Sometimes, I wish I could go back to that. I loved that constant flow of thoughts into words and words into posts. Now, I often feel like my well is dry. I still have thoughts, but they take longer to come, if they come at all. And I wonder to myself, “Will I ever be a writer like I thought when I started this blog?”

And I’ve changed so much since then. My writing has changed. I have better grammar now and a more refined style. My life has changed. I’ve graduated and now I’m at university. My thoughts and ideals and hopes have even changed. But I guess that’s what happens in life; that’s how it has always worked. This blog, if nothing else or greater, is the showcase of that change. And I am thankful for that showcase because with change, comes growth.

Growth is a beautiful gift. It isn’t something tangible you can hold in your hand nor it is it something we often notice or ponder upon. But I love to look back upon memories and life’s happenings and notice how I’ve changed. I love to see the ways God has shaped me through the challenges and joys alike. Looking back is like the calm after the storm, I’d venture to say. Its maddening sometimes to me because I see the hard times and cringe at my stupidity and even try to forget certain memories. But in the end, you can only really laugh, usually. Laugh and accept yourself for who you are. That’s what I do when I read this blog, at least.

I haven’t written much lately, as you may have noticed. Part of that was due to my busyness. But another part of that was because I want to write differently. I want to write better, for lack of a stronger word. I desire to produce quality work with every post and that is hard to do. Sometimes, I’m not sure if I’m up to the challenge.

But I’m on a journey. That’s what this blog is about. Sometimes, when I look back on the name, I sort of regret it. Yet now, I don’t think there could have been a name more fitting. Because this blog, no matter what I do with my life or writing or if I ever make another post again, has been a journey. Thus far, it has been a three-year-long trek through some of my most formative years. Whether or not it has been interesting or brought the 38 commenters, no longer matters because it has been my journey in discovering truth, faith, and who I am, among other things.

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So this is my reflection on life, blogging, and growth. I’m too tired to edit much so I doubt this will be my best post in three years time.  But if there is anything I’ve learned from this process, it is that you don’t write or do the things you do to ‘be the best.’ Blogging, I’ve learned isn’t about getting 38 comments on every post or 105 followers or world recognition. This blog is about learning. About friendship, faith, and grace. Its about discovering yourself and God and life, among the pain of it all.

The journey or the way we get to the place we call home, you see, is just as important as that very place.

Thank you, dear readers, for joining me on this journey thus far, whether you’ve been here since December 18th, 2010 or if you just began now. It has been a wonderful journey for me and, hopefully for you.

The Book

I’m always writing something. Ever since I was little, I’ve had a story in mind. I used to enjoy the minutes and hours between bedtime and actually falling asleep by making up stories. I’d whisper each line aloud to myself until my sister would come in and ask, “Who are you talking to?”

“No one!” I’d defend as if I were completely innocent. And then I’d start back again in a softer tone.

I did it with the little Bible that my mom gave me, too. It was a tiny little New Testament with a million words I couldn’t read at the age of five. But it had a picture on the front — they say a picture is worth a thousand words and I suppose it was for me. It was a picture of Jesus with the little children and I made countless stories about it. I’d flip through that little Bible in the wee hours following my bedtime, pretending to read.

I’ve had this longing for as long as I can remember. I think it was when my mom read us Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. “Laura wrote this about her life,” Mom told us. And I knew then that I wanted to do the same one day. And that was the beginning of ‘the book’ — I decided that some day, I’d write about my own life.

I planned the book from an early age. Narrating certain events in the third person was not uncommon for me. I used to imagine the covers and pictures for my future book. Would it be a series or just one giant novel? Oh, and it would be a novel, of course. Even though it would be autobiographical, I’d write it in novel form, as Laura had done. I wanted to make it interesting, but I wanted it to be about me, too.

Throughout my childhood, I never doubted this book. Although I did not write it, it was ever-present in my mind. I could pass dull hours by writing it within the pages of my imagination. Although interests came and went, it was the one thing that remained the same.

That book is still here. I’ve long since decided not to write a completely auto-biographical account of my life as that would surely be too personal and probably quite boring. However, in each story I endeavour to write, there is a piece or two of me. I think that is what I wanted all along although I could not express it as a child. I wanted to be known for myself and I felt the only way to do that was through writing because I’m better on paper than I am in person.

But that book is in a ruinous state these days. I’ve barely gotten past chapter three because as soon as I get there, I decide to change it again. I constantly fall into the trap of thinking that my ideas are stupid and that no one will want to read it. Sometimes, I wonder what the point is.

But then I am reminded of the book. Its more than just “a book” to me, but a childhood dream and a life calling. It has changed shape a lot throughout the years, but the idea remains the same. I want to be known and show the injustices I see and let others know that they are not alone–maybe its corny, but I want to make a difference in the world.

So I’ll try my hand at this book once more. Now that my semester is over, I’ve had a chance to think through it all. I don’t exactly know what I’ll write or how it will go, but I am going to try. No, I am going to do it. I’m going to write that book.

Today marks my two-year anniversary of blogging!  I can’t believe I’ve been writing on here for so long! I think that this blog has almost been the book I meant to write as a child. 🙂 Thank you all for your support and encouragement over the years!!! It has been an amazing two years!

Click here to read my first post on this blog.

Click here to read last year’s anniversary post.