As a young child, I kept notebooks stored away in my hope chest. I would take my notebook out each night and write. I started this practice when I was in the 3rd grade. I would write anything from journal entries to poems to stories. My best friend at the time did the same thing. We took turns calling each other at night, and we would talk about the things we had written. We did this for about two years. I started writing a kind of novella (although I had no idea what this meant) when I was in the 4th grade. I filled up one whole notebook with chapters involving teenagers struggling with peer pressure. Unfortunately, I lost the notebooks in a house fire many years ago. I would love to go back and read what my 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade-self had written.
I was completely unaware back then what my friend and I were actually doing. We were our own writing club. We were writing, reading, and discussing. I knew back then that I wanted to be a writer. Even at such a young and unknowing age, we knew the importance of having someone else read and critique our work. We, of course, had no clue whatsoever that is what we were doing, but we embraced the event in an instinctual way.
As the years progressed, I remember being in the 8th grade and secretly slipping poems to my English teacher to critique for me. I say “secretly” because I didn’t want my friends to know what a nerd I was. Years later, during my high school senior year, my father passed away, and I discovered a whole new realm of emotional writing I had never been exposed to before. I had to deal with it somehow, right? So, I wrote poems. I even entered a poem into the “Senior Class Poet Contest” and won. We submitted our poems anonymously, we assembled, had the poems read to us, and then we voted on whose was best. It was so hard to sit there while the poems were read and pretend like I didn’t have one in the bunch. Imagine my excitement when mine actually won. Wow! Someone actually liked what I wrote!
I cannot remember a time in my life since I learned to wield a writing utensil that I have not been writing or attempting to write something. Life has taught me many lessons and given me excellent ammunition for poems, stories, essays, etc. When I write, the page is often a reflection of the emotions I feel. Writing is such a journey, and I feel that mine is just getting good and started.
Copyright © Emily D. Wood
Photo via Photl
Photo via Photl