I have been a writer for most of my life.
I don’t mean I have been a published author, with numerous novels on the New York Times Best-Seller list with a dozen notable newspapers, and magazines praising my work for years.
That I have yet to achieve, but in due time.
I believe that anyone who writes is a writer. Anyone who expels their thoughts from pen to paper, or who spends their evenings ferociously typing away their inner most demons onto their computer screens is categorized as a writer.
For me, my writing career began in grammar school.
It was probably around then when my life became interesting enough to reiterate on paper. Pre-teen years when my greatest worries were deciphering my newfound adoration for boys; and how to cover up that oversized zit that appeared in the middle of my forehead out of nowhere that morning.
I was bold during my youth.
On multiple occasions I wrote love letters to boys I had crushes on. I even kept a diary, although I was always terrified that my mother would one day discover it hidden beneath my pillow and read my intimate thoughts (usually related to the love letters I bravely released into the wild).
Anything that I was thinking or feeling in the moment, I wrote down. Although my 11-year-old self didn’t realize it then, writing was my therapy.
And it still is to this day. Writing heals me.
I should’ve seen it coming. That I would grow into this independent introvert who’d rather spend my weekends holed up in my studio apartment writing down my feelings, instead of interacting with the outside world. I never could say all that I needed to when talking to someone as opposed to writing it down. Like the spoken word never carried as much weight as the words did spelled out on paper.
Arguments between boyfriends or friends always turned into me burning through the paper as I angerly scribbled about how ridiculous they were being to disagree with me. Big life decisions like where to reside next or contemplating career changes were always written down on paper to help formulate my concerns. And journaling about my feelings after a breakup was my savior; preventing me from getting into a pointless text exchange with my ex over ruminating thoughts that had to be released in one way or another.
I don’t see a therapist regularly to discuss my pent-up childhood trauma; although I probably should and fully support talking your feelings out with a professional. I don’t have hours long conversations with my girlfriends every night to project my load of emotions on; even though my friends are the most supportive gals in the world who often read my work.
My outlet has always been—for as long as I could remember—to write.
To write about anything and everything. To unveil my creativity allowing the words to flow out naturally. To take every emotion that I’m feeling and try to make sense of it staring back at me.
I never needed to write for a purpose, for recognition or praise; although that has been nice to receive from time to time. I wrote mostly for me. As a way to help myself heal from brutal wounds inflicted upon me. To move past the pain or discomfort and cope in a way that has never steered me wrong.
I didn’t even realize how much writing has been my primary coping mechanism until I sat down to write this piece; and even then I didn’t expect to write over 700 words about how much I love to write.
I don’t just love it, I need it. These days more than ever. Writing heals me.
I don’t believe there is a journey to becoming a writer.
Maybe you jot your thoughts down on cocktail napkins while your waiting for your drink at the bar. Or you run an online blog putting your feelings on display to anyone that will read them.
Either way, you are a writer.
Even if you’re still in the beginning stages of your writing career writing love notes to the boy you’re crushing on in homeroom, never stop writing. Never dull that passion. Because one day, you will notice how much your writing heals you.