Writing has been important to me for a long time.
In the fourth grade I was in a writing club. We met before school and learned about writing characters and plots. I wrote a little book about a girl named Kelly who had a stutter. She wanted to run for class office but was too embarrassed to give a speech because of her stutter. When she realized that she didn't stutter when she sang, she ran for office, gave her speech, and won. At the time I was in my fourth year of speech therapy for articulation problems. I still get really nervous when I speak in front of speech and language pathologists (which is all the freaking time since I work in special education).
All throughout elementary school I kept a journal. I was paranoid that it would be read so I used code names. I addressed each entry to "Anne." I was inspired by Anne Frank writing to Kitty and my Anne was the one of Green Gables.
In junior high I was in the poetry club. My best friend was with me, we would meet after school, read our poetry, and snap our fingers. I was full of flowery words, angst, and it just felt good to put pen to paper (we didn't have a computer yet).
In high school I was on the school newspaper for three years. I was a writer, sports editor (what?), and the entertainment editor. I worked for hours and hours on that paper and loved it. Even when I accidentally pasted the columns of my story in the wrong order (we did all of our layouts by hand, like old fashioned bosses).
In college I wanted to go out for the newspaper but I was too nervous. I did a small amount of writing for the college arts paper but eventually that fell way to a sorority, work, and partying. I wrote numerous papers for my English major. Some written the morning of, through the haze of last night's alcohol. Some with truly in depth thought. I journaled some of my college exploits but was later so embarrassed by them that I burned that small book in my parents' backyard firepit. I stopped writing for pleasure.
In law school I struggled with writing. There was no time to even consider writing for fun. I struggled to adapt my flowery prose to the strictness of legal writing. I was reprimanded constantly for "using too many words," and for my writing lacking consistency. Yet somehow I became a successful lawyer and even my crappy 1L writing is way better than some of the junk that opposing counsel sends me.
On July 11, 2009 I started this little blog. I wrote about food, my husband, my struggle with weight loss, my dogs, my sister. Now I write about many of the same things with the very noted addition of my son. I am writing for pleasure again. Sometimes the writing is painful as I force myself to look inside. No matter what, I always feel better after I hit publish. I don't track my stats. I'm not trying to make it in the blogging world. I write for me. To feel that release. And it feels good.