October 9, 2009

A History

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

Since my last post, I have been thinking about what my autobiography would be. A large part would be my writing history. Writing has always been one of the biggest and most important parts of my small life. I remember my first journal- a maroon American Girls book with a few blank lines for each numbered day. I scrawled very important items for my nine year old self, such as seeing my first crush in Sunday School, planning for friends to sleep over, fights with my brother, and birthday presents. I don’t remember the occasion for getting that journal or even who got it for me (I assume my parents), but the habit of daily writing, the ability to sort out my thoughts and emotions, and the feeling of making something a permanent part of history have carried me through to this day.

Since that journal, there has been one every year- some that tie shut with ribbon or locked on the hinge. They have been fabric covered or plastic, flowered, themed, or very simple. My current journal is the first grown up looking one I’ve had, a brown leather-bound book given to me a few Christmases ago. I forget to write in it many days, and neglect it many more to write this blog instead, but I still write a few times a week. I still write the same types of things I thought newsworthy so long ago-what I feel, what something someone said me to means, etc.

I read a lot when I was a kid, and vividly remember reading A Diary of Anne Frank. Although it is worth reading for obvious reasons, I was struck by the fact that a girl my age had written something so private that ended up being read by millions of people, and that she mattered that much to the world. She was relevant and important. It was the first time I made the connection between writing and fame. I considered hiding my diaries in a floorboard or closet shelf, and secretly hoped for a war.

The mix of all this, coupled with the books and poems I was always reading, is what turned me into a writer type, although not much of an actual writer since I’m not making a living our of it or getting paid to do it. But I would be excited when back to school season meant 10 cent notebooks. I carry a notepad wherever I go, although many of my blog ideas have been popping up in the shower. I’ve scribbled lines on scraps of paper that seem genius at the moment only to sound ridiculous later. I’ve written poetry in classes and lectures, on planes and in parking lots. It’s a compulsion, I guess- sometimes healthy and sometimes not.

The AP Editors-Excellence-or-something awards were given today-more weighty than this year's Nobel Peace Prize, in my opinion. The News-Gazette won several awards. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to have written a winning article.

More frustrating than not knowing what you want to do with you life? Knowing exactly what you want.

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