When I opened up Medium recently to start my first story, I found a three-year-old draft titled, “Why I decided to write,” sitting there staring at me.
As it turns out, that’s all I had decided to write. Below those words was an entirely empty page.
I don’t remember what brought me to that blank page three years ago. Maybe it was after one of many long days I spent working at an advertising agency in Chicago, and I was feeling either completely inspired, or just completely empty. Or maybe it was just after the time that I alleged to my former-therapist that I was a “writer,” and I was attempting to course-correct my lie.
What it probably was, though, was simply the excitement and absolute conviction you feel when you’re finally compelled to start something you’ve always wanted to do but have been too scared (or lazy) to actually do.
Yes, I’ve always wanted to write, and this - maybe, finally - is a good start!
Like many others who attended higher education, I took a creative writing class, which I loved. It was the first time that I wrote freely on a variety of topics while also creating my own personal writing style and attempting to incorporate new writing techniques, like using vignettes. As a 20-year-old with limited life experience and a somewhat limited perspective, I didn’t have very much to say about the world outside of my own head. So I wrote a lot about myself as honestly as I could.
I didn’t write after that semester ended, at least in a creative sense. The praise my professor gave me went disregarded, and without the structure of a classroom, I turned to Twitter (which was capped at 140 characters at the time) to get my thoughts out .
I did get the chance to “write” (sort of) in my chosen “career” beginning a couple years later, and I did so passionately. I would enthusiastically come into the office early to write a long brief. Compiling written training materials was my idea of fun. I found joy in crafting a carefully-worded email. And as I moved into a leadership role and could more clearly see the work of others around me, I realized (I think for the very first time) that not everybody knows how to use words effectively.
But as far as I can tell, writing isn’t just about being able to string words together coherently. It’s also having something unique and valuable to say in the first place, and I think that’s where I fear I’m lacking the most. I hope I can once-and-for-all earnestly face that fear here.
I’m 32 years old. Seven months ago I moved across the country with my partner, leaving behind my friends, my family, my job security, and Chicago - my home of nine years. I have been actively interviewing for full-time work, and I’m actively being rejected. With my confidence running on fumes, I am grasping into thin air for a new direction and purpose for my life.
One month ago, the COVID-19 Pandemic began to spread across the world…and now we are all living in self-isolation, devoid of our routine daily inspirations.
So when I recently thought of finally beginning to write, all I could ask myself was the cliché, “if not now…when?”
What I hope to create and gain from this is to:
- Sharpen/use my writing skills
- Discover opportunities to incorporate more writing into my career
- Strengthen and assert my opinions
- Share my passions
- Explore my point of view of the world
I can’t promise it will be any good, or if anyone will read it, but I’m glad I’m giving this another try.