Tag Archives: Dream Of Being A Writer

To Grace (Part Four): Finding Your Voice.

10 Aug

In case you are visiting my blog for the first time, here are the previous posts that go with this series: To GraceTo Grace (Part Two): Walking Through The Fire, and To Grace (Part Three): Accepting Love.

Dear Grace,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. A few weeks ago (when I was still in Ireland), your mom posted a video on her Facebook page of you singing a song that you had written. As I sat in Ireland with my computer in my lap listening to you sing words that you had written, I smiled. I smiled, but I also cried. During the entire video of you singing something that you had written, there was one thought going through my head: Grace has found her voice as a writer, just like I did at her age.

The video caught me off guard though because I never knew that you had started writing. Even though I saw you about six months ago, we don’t often have the chance to sit and talk for long periods of time. Normally I’m just able to see you during the times that I come to Columbia to have lunch with Meredith (your physical therapist who was also one of my physical therapists). However, when I do have lunch with Meredith, I try to make it a Tuesday because I know that you have a session with her on Tuesdays right after her lunch break.

In terms of writing a song though, I’m so happy and proud that you are beginning to find your voice as a writer. Though I know that what you write is probably very different from what I wrote at your age (since you are very strong in your faith and gain strength from it but I’m not religious), that doesn’t make me any less proud. Writing in itself, no matter the content, is a coping mechanism in a sense. It’s a way that we can make some sense of what it is that we are feeling. However, that doesn’t mean that a small part of me isn’t a little bit worried. When I was your age and found my love of writing, my parents took advantage of the fact that I had found a hobby in which I wasn’t limited by my CP by signing me up for all sorts of writing camps. I went to a creative writing camp for 3 consecutive summers at USC and then went to the creative writing summer program at the SC Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities. The game changer for me was the summer I spent at the SC Governor’s School. I grew as a writer that summer (though I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am in my writing now without starting this blog back in November of last year). Anyway, the summer I spent at the Governor’s School gave me something that I needed: confidence. After that summer program was over, I made the decision to apply to the SC Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities for the regular school year, which was a residential high school for juniors and seniors who were interested in an area of the arts, such as creative writing, drawing, or theatre. I worked really hard on the story that I submitted for the application and also took part in an interview that was part of the overall application. It was a very scary part in my life. Not scary as in painful, but scary in the fact that everything seemed to ride on whether I was accepted for the program or not.

That was my biggest mistake: putting all my hopes into that one basket. When I didn’t get accepted, I entered a dark place for quite a while. I was depressed, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and I decided right then that I didn’t want to write anymore. I gave up. Though I wrote a little bit here and there during my first year at boarding school, it was nothing like I had written before, so I took a pretty long writing break. However, when my need to write came back to me in the fall of last year, I didn’t fight it. I welcomed it almost like you welcome back an old friend who you haven’t seen in years but who fits perfectly in your life as if you had seen them yesterday.

I guess what I’m trying to say Grace is I feel like you and I are just so similar. We both have CP, we both got involved with community theatre, and now you’re writing, just like me. Even though I’m so happy that you have begun to find your voice as a writer, I just hope that you aren’t so much like me that you get continually frustrated with yourself. Even though I’m trying to work on not being so critical of my own writing, even Stephen King says that we are our own worst critic. However, that being said, write because you love it. Write because it’s something you need and not merely something you want. And if writing doesn’t do that for you, that’s okay. You’re young, and you have all the time in the world to find that one thing that makes you feel alive: that one thing that makes you want to live instead of merely exist. Wanting to live fully and without hesitation is huge for us Grace, at least for me….especially considering all the pain we’ve been through. However, now I know from personal experience that it’s possible. It’s not exactly easy. I’ve been to hell and back with my writing. I’ve loved it, I’ve given up on it, but in the end, I’ve welcomed it back. I’ve welcomed it back because that is what we do for the things or people we love.



When in Ireland, travel to push through writer’s block.

3 Jul

After yesterday’s post (When in Ireland, write through the uncertainty) I have been really introspective. Introspective about my writing, my life, my current experiences. Though I normally get introspective when I talk about my writing, I was especially introspective last night.

I’ve been told that travel is great for writers because being in a new place with new people can help boost creativity and the writer’s spark that most writers can understand on some level. I agree that travel is a great way to broaden one’s perspective in order to create a writing style with more variety. However, what about those times when you’re traveling and you’re just blocked? Completely and utterly blocked.

Other than the uncertainty post I wrote yesterday, I’m pretty much stuck in a rut. I know I need to write. I need it like every single person on Earth needs water. However, I just can’t seem to grab hold of something that takes more than a day to write. I’m writing daily blog posts, and those are hard enough to get out these days. I’m used to my blog posts being pretty easy to write out. Even the posts that tend to be pretty emotionally heavy, the looming thought that I’ll feel better once I get the words out is what pushes me forward, what pushes me to keep typing until the only thing that I feel is relief, relaxation, and maybe happiness. Recently though, writing my blog posts has been hard. I love it. I do. I’ve felt so much happier since beginning this blog last November, and it’s never been something that I’ve had to force. I’ve always wanted to write my daily posts. I still do want to write them, even now. I guess it’s just not quite as easy right now.

As writers, I know we all get stuck though. And those of us who are true writers push through the writer’s block and keep on going. And that’s what I’m doing. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not faced with moments where I’m staring at my computer screen waiting for the words to come to me. Waiting for them, all the while knowing that they will come eventually. They will. They have to. They are what I know, who I am, and what makes me feel alive.

Are You In Need Of A Writing Push?

13 Jun

“The great thing about dreams is no one else controls them.”

The above quote was told to me by one of my writing mentors 3 years ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head recently. Yesterday I got some great support from the same writing mentor who told me the above quote.

Even though I haven’t touched my memoir in quite a while, the simple realization that there are people out there aching for me to share my story as much as I’m aching to get it out is enough of a push to help me to understand that I can’t stop writing. I can’t stop writing, even on the days when it hurts so much to emotionally revisit my painful past. I owe it to myself as well as those who love me to share my story of what it’s been like to live with, and ultimately overcome, Cerebral Palsy.

So here is my mantra as of today: Write On.

Have any of you recently needed a push to keep on writing? What has been your fallback when looking for something (an object or something abstract) to push you to keep digging for the words that you long to share with the world?