When I was a little kid, I wrote constantly. The urge to set pen to paper (or, ultimately, fingers to keyboard) was as natural as breathing. Sure, I had school creative writing assignments or research papers, but outside of the classroom, I wrote for me, for no other reason than I wanted to. I felt the pull to create, without restriction.
I had an oversized sketch pad that I used to produce my own newspaper, complete with a TV guide for shows of my own creation and a front page peppered with fictitious news articles – usually about an animal who had done something awesome.
I penned the first half to three-quarters of many a novel in countless black and white composition books, initially without much regard for plot or structure. The characters were always based on myself and my friends, and they usually tried to solve a mystery I never knew how to conclude.
But when you’re young, you don’t care if your story is full of plot holes or your sentence structure is cumbersome. Uninhibited creativity flows freely, without fear or hesitation. That sense of confidence and playfulness dissipates for many of us as we get older. We start to care too much about our critics, and we place voluntary restrictions on our creativity. But why?
Two events occurred recently that prompted me to re-evaluate this idea. One was a beautifully scripted and heartfelt blog post from Carla Kucinski, who was my editor when I wrote for Go Triad, about reigniting her passion for writing – a desire, I realized then, I longed to rediscover myself. The other was a conversation with my husband and one of our friends – both of whom are 27 – about the accomplishments they hope to achieve before they turn 30. I’m a few weeks shy of 29, and that novel I always thought I would complete exists only in my head.
I’m incredibly fortunate to call myself a writer by trade. I’ve contributed innumerable pieces to newspapers, magazines and the Web since my freshman year of college, and I haven’t looked back. But I honestly can’t remember the last time I wrote only for me. I value the stories I write professionally more than I can express, but they are small parts of a much greater whole. I crave some quality time with just me and my notebook again.
This blog is one way to satisfy that appetite. A space for extracurricular thoughts, musings, essays and analysis. A playground for varying styles and topics. A return to a cherished pastime I haven’t visited in far too long.
I hope you’ll come along for the ride. Until the next chapter!