I hate writing, or so I thought. My first experiences with writing were in junior high school, in english class. In those days, we didn’t have classes like language arts, in which, one connected the relationship between reading and writing. Why would anyone make a connection between two such vastly different subject area? Can you see my giant eye roll? So for forty minutes you went to reading class and for forty minutes you went to english class. It seems like a miracle I ever enjoyed reading and writing, because if you could take a very enjoyable activity like reading or writing and suck the ever-living life out of it, that was what my teachers managed to do in the 1980’s.
As the story goes, I would be sitting in english class and hear the words, we are going to journal for ten minutes. At twelve years old, I didn’t have much to share. It’s not like today, in which my own children have been journaling since before they could read. We start kids at ages three and four putting thoughts to paper, even if it was in picture form. So back to 1982, in a boring english class, being asked to write my thoughts, was a foreign concept. No one in or outside of school asked me what I thought about anything. At that point in my life, the most exciting thing going on was Christmas and that was once a year. I, somehow, managed to complete the assignments, with less than an enjoyable experience. In high school, when I started to form some thoughts and opinions, no one wanted to know. I don’t remember journaling once in four years of high school. Now, I wrote, and I wrote a lot in high school. I was given specific topics to explore, like compare and contrast two documents written during the French Revolution. Truly, not a topic that I would freely choice to write about on my own. Somehow, through my loathing of writing, I became a good writer. So proficient, I tested out of the first semester of freshman english in college.
I continued to write, of course, because I was in college. I was majoring in music and once again I was assigned topics of moderate interest regarding the music of middle ages through the 20th century modern atonal era. Funny, it shows my age, by saying the most recent music was of the 20th century. Once, I graduated, with my bachelor degree, my writing skill were put to rest for a time. I was busy teaching middle school instrumental music and except for the occasional research paper, for graduate credit, I was not writing a lot.
My writer’s life continued when I completing my masters degree. By that point, my children were six years old and three years old, and composing a research paper was a huge challenge. From my home desktop computer, I would dodge gold fish crackers, sippy cups, and toys flying around the room. Click, click, click, would go the keyboard as I could hear the songs of Dora the Explorer blasting away. Every once in a while, I would look up, no blood, no tears, and back I would go to clicking away as I discussed the impact of environmental climate of the school settings and the impact of brain based learning on student success. At the same time I was completing the master of education, I was also writing education grants for ten years for our local elementary school arts integration program.
For me, writing is work. It is hard work. For about nine months, I didn’t write anything, except facebook posts. No grant writing, no research papers, no journaling, nothing, I just stop writing. And I started to miss the process. Could this be true? I actually missed writing? A form of modern-day torture, well, at least that’s how I saw it at age twelve. But it is true, I missed it greatly. I decided I needed that creative outlet, I needed to write, thus my blog. Here is the greatest secret of all, I really like to write, when it is something I am interested in discussing. The road to enjoying the process of writing was a rough one to say the least, and as much as I hated my junior high and high school writing experiences, I learned to write. I learned to write well. It maybe, in the end, my writing will save my soul.