On Writing - An Introduction to this Blog

    In middle school, a teacher explained the significance of writing to us, and continued to teach us to love the craft. She encouraged us to find our own styles in writing and in being (a) creative, and always reminded us that it’s okay, no, it's good, to be different. She had us write every day in what was called a think journal and we were to pass it in for credit. She graded us on the effort we put into it, not on our writing skills, as she, a lover of writing and English, knew that writing was more important than writing well. Some of us were better at following the rules, some of us understood many rules but purposefully chose to break them, and some simply did not understand and didn't care to understand them. I fell into the second category. For the most part I’ve understood the “rules” of writing in English, but for the most part, I tend to neglect many and use punctuation the way I see fit, which has often reflected in the scores on writing assignments as I just can’t seem to kick “using too many commas.” (#SaveTheOxfordComma, anyone?)
    In high school my sophomore year English teacher taught us to write about things that were happening around us, often, as a way to encourage us to pay more attention to the outside world and reflect on it. She encouraged us to look outside of the bubble that so many of us were living in, and to pay attention to things that matter in the outside world. Each week we were given a fairly vague topic to talk about and we would write, however long, however we saw fit, to reflect on what we read about the topic, or what was happening in the world. Looking back at my, what we called power blog entries, I can see that they’re some of the best excerpts I’ve written to this day. Although my technical writing abilities have been refined since my tenth-grade-year, being forced to write, and write often, helped me to creatively and effectively express what I want to say, and the vagueness of the assignments helped me to be able to express what I was passionate about, and write deeply on a subject of my choice. 
    In college, everything is put to the test. By going to a well-known university in the United States I’ve realized that I’m not quite as special as I once thought I was, getting a B- on a paper I felt very confident about was a bit of a surprise, but that’s okay. It’s also taught me that I am just as special as I thought I was, when I realize the level of passion I have for so many things at such a young age. While writing about something that I am deeply passionate about, my TA wrote on the bottom of my paper “ever considered a career in academia? This is one of the best organized essays that was submitted” because my passion guided me. I’ve always been passionate about writing and being creative, and although I’ve always been a quote-on-quote good well-rounded student, who ‘should’ follow a ‘normal’ academic path, there’s something about the creative side of the world that keeps drawing me back to it, even after being discouraged from following a creative life path or career path. 
    Writing is a way to convey the human spirit, emotions, thoughts and feelings. More than that, it’s a way to transform people, to bring readers into an alternate universe, or into the mind of the writer. It’s a way to move generations and sway political movements that have the power to change the world as we know it. Writing and passion are both so important, especially in a world where there is so much written about hate and about all the bad in the world. It’s important that the good, those who choose to speak up about what they believe in, those who want to make the world a better place, also have equal representation in the sphere of writing as well. 
    My friend, we’ll call her Emma for the sake of privacy, always says “Is this something I’ll think about on my deathbed? If the answer is no, why am I stressing about it so much?” and it’s a quote and an outlook that has changed my life in the short few weeks that we’ve known each other. The other day while we were talking about passions and following our dreams I looked at her and said, “I was thinking, about all of the people who have discouraged me from being a photographer, and from following my dreams to live a ‘safe’ and a ‘normal’ life path, that this, whether or not I follow my dreams, is something I will think about on my deathbed. I have the opportunity to follow my dreams, so why am I not doing it? I don’t want to be 80 and dying and thinking ‘I wish I had…’ because that’s no way to die. Not following your dreams, is no way to live.” 
    And, now we’re here. I’ve had a dream, since I was five-years-old writing mini books out of scrap pieces of paper on the floor of my parent's office, to be a published author and a published photographer, and I’m not giving up on that dream. I’m not going to be on my deathbed wondering, “what if?” because I will have done it. Although I’m not exactly sure what it is, or how I will get there, I will. This will be my continued think journal, or power blog, be sure to follow to read more.