I finished another journal this morning. It's been taking me less time to fill each journal and tuck it away to look at later in the future. I know this is a good thing- I'm recording all my memories and words that may be useful in time. I know that in some way these journals will affect a novel if and when I decide to begin writing it. The copious volumes of my writing lie tucked away in chests beside my bed just waiting to be used again. This prospect both excites and petrifies me. Going through my writing means sifting through my memories and this can be both joyful and painful. Many of the things I have written in moments of despair or heartache or anger. Going back through those moments, while vital to future writing I may do, means tapping into those parts of me that were broken, it means digging all those emotions back up. That is something I'm not sure I possess enough strength to do.
I have always been a writer. I wrote poetry at a young age and always enjoyed the creative writing aspects of class. As I grew older, I began to journal on and off about crushes and the usual teenage dreams, but as my writing progressed it became about so much more. I took a creative writing class my senior year in college, and I can still see my neatly slanting penmanship climbing across the pages. I took my writing very seriously because I wanted to present myself both creatively and professionally. In college, my writing was immersed in emotion and experience. There were lots of instances where I vented to friends at midnight in the dorm hallways or on the phone locked in the bathroom, but it was my journal that I turned to when I didn't want or need advice. It was my journal I turned to when I just wanted the one-sided story, my version written down in black and white so I could return to those moments when I most needed ammunition to defend myself.
My senior year of college I took a course in Creativity. As a required part of the course, we had to journal every day. While some people groaned inwardly at the prospect, I embraced it. I had become lax in my writing and this meant that I had to do it. I relished writing pages after pages, admiring the way my handwriting looked on the page. You can tell what kind of mood I am in due to the way I write. When I'm distressed or upset my writing is sloppy, it's all over the page, there are cross-outs and mistakes. Some words may not even be distinguishable to the untrained eye. When I am happy or relating an event that happened in great detail or recording a dream, my writing is neat and straight, only slanting or falling apart when I begin to rush to get all the words out, not wanting to lose a single thought in my head. A lot of times words get away from me which is why I often scramble to get all my thoughts on paper.
As I shut my journal this morning and looked forward to starting a fresh one, I looked at the box full of journals, at least a dozen of them. Most of them I have written in from the end of high school through now. The daily journal writing stuck and when I could, I wrote. The last few months I have tried to write daily, every morning, sometimes before I am even fully functioning. I take my cup of coffee to the desk and write. As we learned in Creativity, a lot of times what I end up talking about surprises me. Topics I didn't think I was still worrying about, problems I had pushed aside. Often my writing involves dreams I had the night before. I have vivid dreams pretty much nightly, usually reflecting events that happened the day before and almost always involving people from my past or present. Sometimes they distress and disturb me, other times they make me laugh, almost always they make me think. I analyze and over-analyze to find the meanings in my subconscious thinking. It may be unhealthy, but it's what I do. And thanks to my writing habits, everything is all down on paper.
I am thankful for the gift of writing. I can't play a musical instrument or sing or dance or paint beautiful pieces of art, but I can write. I write for myself, and now I write for others. It's a gift I have always taken for granted, but now I see that it's a part of me. It's one thing that can't be taken away, one thing that not all people have. I continue to hope that I can make a living doing what I love. If it is only a hobby then so be it, but I know I can make it more. I know someday my lifetime goal of writing a novel will come true, despite what critics say, and even if it is never published, I know I can accomplish that goal. I continue to write more frequently than I have all my life, and I am thankful that I have the time and inspiration to do so. As long as there are thoughts in my head and words in my heart, I will continue to write.