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.