When I entered my freshman year of college all I knew was that after earning my Liberal Arts degree I was going to become an English major. I had always excelled in my Literature and Language Arts classes and I had enjoyed reading from the moment I knew how to. I wasn't certain of what exactly I wanted to do, but I couldn't imagine it not having to do with literature.
Now, here I am, four years later, graduated and still trying to figure out where to go. I've passed through four years of never ending papers, reading assignments longer than my attention span and required classes every undergrad halfheartedly takes to make it to graduation day. Throughout those four years I was used to the question: What do you want to do? At the time, as annoying as it was, I knew I had time to come up with an answer. I'd figure it out, eventually. Now, as I live my post grad life, that question creeps back into everyday conversation. It comes in different forms: so what are you doing? Do you have a job? The best part is the look I get when I say I want to be a writer. This is usually followed by: what do you want to do with it? Journalism? Maybe you can work for a publishing company.
I understand people's interest, or lack their of, since these types of questions are more so conversational topics than actual curiosity. Recently I've come to understand, myself why I want to write, not what, but why. Being a young woman with a lack of self-confidence I have a tendency to doubt myself and to second guess my decisions:"Am I a good writer?" "Can I actually do this?" "Do I even enjoy this?" After taking a creative writing class this past spring, my love for writing revitalized itself. Getting feedback from fellow students, creating these stories that got genuine positive feedback boosted my confidence.
Post graduation I have't done much writing, more thinking than anything else. I've had an enormous amount of time to think, to deliberate. In this time I've become more aware of the fact that writing is my outlet. I don't always say what I want to say. The words don't always flow from my mouth the way I imagine they will. I fumble with my speech, and everything doesn't come out clearly. But when I write...the words aren't as difficult to find. When I write, there's no pressure. When I write, I can think and make drafts and edit out parts that don't make sense. I'm never fully able to get my message across through speech, but with writing...it comes naturally.
And isn't that what defines a writer? Someone who finds the words flow more naturally through their fingertips than off their tongue?
I've found giving words of encouragement and advice in person makes me feel awkward and uncomfortably on the spot. It's a challenge for me. But when I participate in #selfworthwednesday on Twitter and when I'm texting my friends, the words don't feel forced. I don't feel stuck or out of place. I feel at home.
Never forget the essence of your spark!