Sam @CUSP Conference 2015

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pen and Paper

I've wanted to be a writer since I was 12 years old.

When I was 15 I met an English teacher by the name of Geoffrey Wickersham and he changed my life. He pushed me by not only teaching me the technical aspects of creative writing -- punctuation and grammar -- but also the storytelling aspect of it. The part where you have to sometimes reach into the deepest parts of your imagination, heart and your gut. It can be uncomfortable and scary when you do it even when it is under the cloak of a fictional character.

Writing has always been a means to release all of the stress that come can come with daily life whether it be using my journal to write numerous expletives to curse out someone who has pissed me off or figuring out a personal challenge -- putting pen to paper has always been my respite. The freedom that writing gives me also could come in the form of me escaping to another world through one of the characters that live in my imagination.

Lately, however, writing has been the bane of my existence.

Writing in a corporate environment and dealing with the politics of that discourages me from doing any writing once I leave the office. I spend so much of my time and energy fighting for my job that it hinders me as an artist and creative person. After months and months of trying to showcase my talents at work to no avail, it forced me to really re-evaluate why I love to write. I realized that I miss that uncomfortable and scary gut-wrenching process of creative/fiction writing. I miss feeling like the world is going to be okay every time I finish writing in my journal or writing a story about a little kid who dresses up as a detective to find his beloved quilt made by his grandmother ("The Pillowcase") or a woman who has everything, but it's not enough because she doesn't have love ("Everything Is Not Enough").

I miss all of the things that made the 12 year old me pick a pen and paper in the first place.

All artists out there can relate. There is this internal warfare within us all -- do we do what we love and what fulfills us or do we put on our khakis and collared shirts and live in the corporate world so that we can eat? Well, the truth of the matter is that I need both. I need to be creative as much as I need to eat. I thrive when I am fulfilled as an artist. I wish to God I was as lucky as some people who can go to work and get both.

In the meantime, I make the commitment to myself today to put a pen to paper or my fingers to a keyboard everyday to let my creative flag fly. Hey, if I can't do it at work when my imagination is neatly tucked away under the costume of a corporate girl, I will do it at five in the morning or at midnight when my hair is down, there aren't any dudes in black or gray suits criticizing everything I do and I am free to be me -- a girl who just loves to write.

P.s. I hope to finally publish the two books I referenced above this year, finally.



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