What is it about writing that allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment? A few years back I ran into a friend from my junior high (middle school) and high school days. I told her I was writing a story about my mother and me. She replied, “That’s great, you always did like to write.” I smiled but walked away stunned. I did, I thought. I then remembered the variety shows my sisters and I created. We gathered the kids in the neighborhood and gave them each a part in the acts we had spent days writing. I believe our programs were loosely based on The Laugh In Show. The stage was the open concrete parking area at the end of our neighbor’s drive. Our parents humored us, I suppose, by sitting in lawn chairs and clapping at the appropriate times.
I still have stored somewhere, the Christmas poem I wrote in seventh grade that won the school newspaper’s first prize. That was my first accolade for writing. I recall my high school teacher telling me my papers were always her favorite to read; much more entertaining than my fellow students dry essays. She also added I needed to watch my punctuation, a problem that still plagues me today. (Thank you inventor of spell and grammar check)
Consequently, I realized that my friend was correct. I have always enjoyed writing and as an adult I felt it was time for me to return to that love. I joined a writing class at East Line Books in my hometown. I was just beginning my journey with the care-taking of my mother as she slid into dementia. Every week I tapped away on my keyboard, thanking Mom for making me take a typing class. My emotions, held inside as I went through my week, poured forth and appeared in black and white on my computer screen. Often tears trickled down onto the keyboard letters as I discovered those feelings I had so carefully buried. The writing of the essays was obviously therapeutic. I continued with the classes over a period of two to three years. Eventually, some of the ladies I met at the book store branched out on our own when we realized our essays could materialize into book form. We would meet, not only to critique each other’s writing, but also offer support. My writing ladies, as I like to call them, have been generous with their friendship and encouragement.
The idea to blog came to me early. But, sadly I didn’t act on the notion until much later on my writing path. Blogging gives me a chance to express ideas, feelings, and thoughts in a very short form. I truly enjoy the thrill of having others comment on my essays, and I love gathering followers. How surprising for my thoughts to touch a stranger, enough so that they decide to comment or follow me. I somewhat understand an actor’s need for applause at the end of a performance.
All of these thoughts lead to today and my fingers feeling that they require movement over a keyboard. Today, when my thoughts, jumbled as they are, must come tumbling out and be placed for all to see in black and white. Feel free to comment, I love the applause.