Why I Write…


Why did I start writing and why do I write?While developing an 8 week lesson plan for a Creative Writing workshop that I’m starting at my work, I realized that there was a question that I haven’t answered on my blog and now is the time to answer it!

           My story starts when I was eight years old. I went to a Spanish immersion school that offered a lot of opportunity for creative expression; my creativity was encouraged from a young age. I am grateful that my parents put me in the schools they did so that I could connect with my inner artist and discover my talent. The first piece I wrote was a poem and it was part of a project that we were supposed to do in class to create a mother’s day card for our mothers. I wrote a poem about the colors that my mom wore, specifically her red lipstick, and my mom kept it after I gave it to her and still has it today!

           I always felt out of place with my peers and writing became an escape for me besides reading, it was therapeutic and it was a way for me to connect with my imagination. Some people had imaginative friends, I had my own imagination and creative pursuits. As I got older and continued to enjoy the creative projects that my teachers would assign us, my mom ended up creating a space in the garage where she would post all the art projects on this wall by where we kept our shoes. I cherish that memory as a muse for me to continue to create works of art whether it’s  writing, painting, photography, doodling, dancing, any form of expression.

           When middle school came and I had this inspiring Spanish language teacher, I continued to write. At this point, I was blogging and I had created different websites that I would use to post short stories, poetry, and, journal. Each morning during the week, we would be asked to free write for the first 10 minutes or so of class. And every Friday, my teacher would pick a winner for best writer of the class. I won on a consistent basis and I used this as motivation to continue writing.

           When I got to high school, I was diagnosed with depression at the age of sixteen years old and I started to see an art therapist for a little while. Once again, writing became a form of healing for me. In high school, I continued to keep a poetry journal and would sometimes write short stories. I had a LiveJournal that I would share my work on or I would just vent on there sometimes. In 11th grade, when my depression was getting worse, I decided to submit my poetry to a national contest and I won one of the prizes. I just needed a teacher to sign a recommendation for me but I never followed through. I no longer believed in my talent and my creative spirit started to fade away.

           In my junior year of high school, I wrote half of a romance novel but after my computer crashed and I lost the draft, I gave up on writing altogether and the next few years were filled with different experiences that are now inspiration for me to write. I have always used writing as a medium for healing and expression. At times when I felt like I did not have a voice, I found that voice through poetry or through the characters of the stories that I was telling. I always felt like I could relate to characters that faced oppression, discrimination, or, some kind of bullying. And as an avid reader, it has just added more fuel to my passion for writing.

           At a creative workshop I attended with Juliette Sobanet, she asked us to think about why we wanted to tell our story, the novels or stories we are working on. I guess the true reason is to inspire others and maybe they will be able to find strength with my characters as they read along. The message I want to convey in the novels I write is for young teenage girls all over, to not give up on yourself and to embrace your weirdness…it’s okay to be unique. It’s okay to be creative and pursue your artistic dreams. Everyone goes through some type of darkness, and although some stay, there are others who fight to reach the light. I write to help, heal, and, to inspire. 

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The light fades…

So for this piece I decided to delve into some world building for a trilogy scifi idea I have, which takes place in another planet beyond the sun’s reach…the land is dying because its desperate for light…here’s a narrative on my protagonist’s childhood memory:

The sunsets were dazzling as the sun prepared to go into its slumber. Hues of mustard and tangerine blended together into a beautiful spread across the sky surrounding the kingdom of Gaela. The young girl cupped her hand pretending to lift the colors of the sunset out of celestial sphere that reflected off the lakes. A smile formed upon her face, as she closed her eyes and felt the last rays of sunlight seeping through her skin. Light was a luxury in Gaela and any moment that the people could get with the sun was sacred. The sun was a god to the people and the moon was as well, any source of light.

    Eighteen hours per day the land was filled with terror and darkness. Creatures beyond the fray awaited the moments the moonlight dissipated into the abyss of the universe so they could prey on the weak. The kingdom lived in a state between waking and sleeping, in a constant fear of the night. They were forced to become one with the night as the sun’s rotation grew further away from their planet. Circadian rhythms were out of sync, causing a mental disorientation amongst everyone and this young girl managed to maintain balance through all of the chaos. There was something special about her. She had the ability to manipulate the four of the five elements: water, air, earth, and, fire.

    With this power, she had to hold onto the secret because if anyone were to know what she was capable of, she could be drained from her energy. She knew the cost of her special ability could lead to her demise so she never spoke of it. She tried her best not to let her powers show in each activity she had with other children her age. She knew it was wrong yet the curiosity gnawed at her insides of how much further she could take it. How powerful could she become?

~ ER Buendia

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