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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The story of me and writing

The cursor has been hovering in the same spot for at least 10 minutes waiting for me to begin. Where to begin is the question of the moment. Normally when I read about someone and their writing life they often say, “I can’t remember a time when I haven’t wanted to write.” Although that is true for me I want to begin somewhere more interesting, captivating… over-the-top exciting.

I’m just a regular girl whose big brother gave her a diary when she was 9. A girl who fell in love with English classes and reading; a girl who took Journalism and Creative Writing in high school. The words she wrote would mesh together on the paper – always handwritten or pounded out on a manual typewriter. Those words told stories, sang songs, rhymed or jumped; they took on a life on their own.

Behind those words there was a girl.

That girl was me.

I got through the boredom and anxiety of college courses not related to writing and brightened at the thought of the next class when I’d be able to create. Poems, stories,, articles, descriptions, scripts… they all fell from my brain, traveled through my fingers and those appendages tapped them out on little keys connected to a computer… like magic they appeared on the screen.

There was absolutely no  magic involved after I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and began working as a reporter at the local paper in Utica, New York; the Observer Dispatch. The edited words were sent to production after hours of research or interviews. Sometimes I recognized my words and other times hey seemed slightly foreign. You know, words that someone else put their fingers into.

Oh how I've changed over the years.
From daily newspaper to weekly newspaper and magazines I went. To my writer’s hat was added an editor sign and I plugged away pumping out local news, features, reviews, human interest pieces… such a complete movement of words falling from the hidden region of my brain that works (mostly) without be thinking about it. After meetings, interviews, readings and taking notes, the thoughts would flow to form what I like to think of elude myself to think of as perfect articles.

My oldest was just a lil tyke when I was in college.
I was a Journalist. I was an editor. I was a consultant. I was… I was… many a form of writer. Now, I’m a writer who happens to be a blogger and all of that has left about 20 years of experience under my belt.

Lately there are times when that experience seems to wash away from my mind. When I sit holding my laptop and I stare at the white space wondering if all the words jumbled in my head will swirl around enough then finally decide to land in a form that I recognize. Something I can put to paper… uh, screen. There are periods of time like this, right? Where as a writer you wonder if you’ll ever be able to write again because of some blockage or fog that has kept you from finishing a thought.

Around the time I began blogging more. (2007)
For me a giant fog came over me while I was being treated for multiple myeloma. It kept my brain pretty numb. Not only couldn’t I write, but I could barely come up with words to participate in a conversation. That has lasted for more than a  year. Now, finally, I find myself with words creeping back in. Thankfully creeping back in. I’m excited and freaked out.

I’m freaking out because I’m trying to get back to work – trying to make money by doing the thing that I love most… writing. At least I’m writing, I guess. Now if I could just get past the writing to creating and finally be the paid writer I want to be; was born to be. Like that little girl who received a gift of a diary for her 9th birthday.
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