Ashley came up with this collaborative blog project last week. You know me and collabs, I love them and just can’t say no. Seeing how I’ve been struggling lately with blogging (this is why I’ve been making videos), I signed up to help contribute. So let the Twenty Something Writers project begin!
Tell us about your writing history.
I remember in second grade, I wrote a poem about autumn. It consisted of 4 short lines and was written on a leaf shaped piece of purple construction paper. I was proud of it. So was my teacher. And so was my mom; it was one of the few times in my life that I felt loved from her.
Towards the tail end of my grammar school years, I participated in the young author’s contest. The first year I wrote a 40 some page detective mystery.Sadly, it did not win over the judges. For my second entry, I wrote a children’s holiday tale featuring cute, furry talking animals. Perhaps I was catering to the judges or maybe it was my illustrations; whatever it was, I won first place.
I was writing on and off throughout the next 10 years. I never had a journal or blog, but I did have a small notebook where I wrote my emotions. It was my emotions that gave me the passion for writing. Often times the writings were dark or lonely (hey, it was the awkward teenage years), but it was something that I was overly obsessed about. I wanted to capture the imagery and emotions I felt. I never got close and was always frustrated by that.
I also had a second notebook. It was dedicated to just quotes that were said by my friends. I was obsessed with gathering quotes, so I always had the notebook with me. I was struggling with adolescent acceptance. Not knowing what the next week, day or moment will bring, I wanted to remember the happy times. Looking back, I realized that it was not the best thing for me. However, I can’t deny that I’m glad I did write down the quotes because there were hilarious moments that I don’t even recall.
When I was in college, I continued to chronicle my emotions. However, instead of just writing about the darkness that I was so engulfed in, I also wrote about the light. I would spend hours in the chapel of St. John’s at UofI. I would pray and meditate as I wavered between the light and the darkness. It was a never ending battle. I was scared but I couldn’t just keep it to myself. I had to share it with someone. That someone was the black journal that I kept.
I knew that people would not believe me about the personal battle within. However, looking over that journal, one could not detest that the imagery in it was as real as it could be. I had a very difficult and abusive childhood. I was depressed. I was looking for love. The love that was not present in my family. I found that love in friends. It was because of them that I started to blog.
Blogging started because of This Girl. I was fascinated by her life. Reading her blog brought a smile to my face. I wanted my blog to be like hers-made of awesome. She was (and still is) the coolest person that I know; I wanted to be like her.
When I started my blog, I had the slightest idea what blogging was or how to blog. All I knew was that I just had to write. And yet, I didn’t just want to write. The last thing I wanted my blog to be about was what I did each day. I wanted my blog to be engaging, humorous, adventurous, inspiring and challenging.
Originally, the writings on my blog were written for me. That quickly changed when I actually had regular readers. First it was my friends; I wanted to write funny things that they would appreciate. Following them was a great influx of alumni of Quigley Seminary.With the closing of the school, many alums flocked to my blog as I wrote about the memories of Quigley and the experiences of the last school year. As a former student and then a teacher of Quigley, I was able to capture and relive the memories that many Quigley grads forgot and eagerly want to reminisce.
Today, my readers are so diverse that I often have issues writing because I don’t know what would be engaging enough that people want to read. I need to remind myself that this is my blog and I should write what I want. If people like it, then they’ll read it and come back. No matter what, I’m writing for me first and then for the amusement of others. That being said, what I love to write now is about old memories and adventures. I feel like I have a knack for it. If anything, I’m greatly humored by it. Who would have thought a geek like me would have so many interesting adventures? Theses adventures actually make me sound normal and cool (-50 pts for thinking that I’m cool).
I know I’m not the best writer. My grammar is horrific. I blame my grammar school teachers for not properly teaching me it. Even today, grammar is Greek to me; no matter how hard I try, I still can’t see my mistakes. I know what it should be, but when proofreading my work, I cannot physically see the mistakes. It drives me insane! On the bright side, I know that I can write a mean and constructive academic paper if I ever decide to go back to school (thank you GRE).
My writing history may not be as extensive as others, but my goal is to not only write better but actually start to write. There are many things I’ve been meaning to write; more times than not, I easily get distracted, unmotivated or frustrated halfway through. So here’s to Twenty Something Writers; let’s get writing and write well!