Tag Archives: Writing Recognition

Diving below the surface.

6 Oct

I want people who write to crash or dive below the surface, where life is so cold and confusing and hard to see. I want writers to plunge through the holes—the holes we try to fill up with all the props. In those holes and in the spaces around them exist all sorts of possibility, including the chance to see who we are and to glimpse the mystery.-Anne Lamott

Today, I finished reading Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This quote from the book really stuck with me. Over the past few months, I’ve been drawn more and more to books about writing and what it takes to be a writer. Though I don’t read the books in order to remind myself why I write, I do read them in order to remember that many of the emotions that I feel as a writer don’t enclose me. Rather, they allow me entry into one of the most special worlds I’ve ever known: the world of writers.

I first began to write because I felt like no one understood what I was feeling. Writing was the way that I could be completely myself without having to explain why I felt or didn’t feel certain emotions. As I sat in my childhood bedroom at the age of 8 with a journal and pencil in hand, I realized that I didn’t have to hide. I could pour my entire self into my words, and the only person who had to read those words was me. However, more recently through this blog, I have started to understand the strong sense of community and belonging that I’ve been looking for for so long. It’s been right here, waiting for me to discover it. The world of writers is one that is very hard to explain to those who aren’t writers. However, for those of us who are writers, we know what our world is like. We wake up in it every morning. We plunge into it on a daily basis when we sit down at our computers to write out what is itching to be released. We know what it’s like on the bad days when the words won’t come, when it’s too pretty outside to sit in front of a computer that holds the daunting blank Word document. However, we also know the joy of the little victories: completing a chapter, getting an article published, the sense of relief that comes when another writing project is finished. Even though those little victories can keep us afloat for longer than we imagined, it’s the recognition we want. I don’t mean being the next New York Times Bestselling author or making millions of dollars. I mean being told by one single person that our words have touched them or helped them in some way. That’s the prize, “the big kahuna.” It’s what keeps me coming back to my desk, day after day, to share my story.

I haven’t opened the Word document that houses my memoir in a matter of months. Even though I could use the excuses of college classes, friends, work and other random responsibilities that pop up for juniors in college, I’d just be fooling myself. I’m naturally an introspective person. However, the kind of introspection that my memoir has involved has brought me face to face with memories that I never thought I’d have to experience again. However, for many writers, that’s what writing is. It’s facing our demons and learning to accept them so that we can move on to a better and more fulfilling life. I know from experience that it’s incredibly hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I keep trudging along though. I keep on “diving below the surface” of my life for the chance of impacting just one person, for the chance to be part of the reason that they feel even just a little less alone.

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Getting Published For The Third Time?!

30 Apr

A little over two weeks ago, I wrote a Photo Friday post about the Holstee Manifesto poster and the fact that it has impacted my life, which can be read here. Four days later, I received a blog comment from Mary Shouvlin, a member of the Holstee team. She mentioned that Holstee is putting together a website that is made up of people’s’ stories of how the poster has impacted their life, and she asked me to include my story and a photo of myself to include on the website when it goes live.

I was truly shocked at this amazing opportunity. Since beginning blogging, I never imagined that it could be such a wonderful way to connect with people and allow my writing to be recognized by so many people. The same day I received the blog comment from Mary, I sent her my story. I was so excited to finally get “published” again that I simply couldn’t wait even a day to express how the Holstee Manifesto has impacted my life.

When I interned with the Columbia Star newspaper in January of 2009, I had 2 articles published. The first is basically my life story, and the article that I’m most proud of. The second, a commentary, was an article I wrote as if I was the SC Superintendent of Education. Though the second article wasn’t as personal, it taught me how to research a topic that I’d need to write about, which is much different from researching a topic that you’ve got to write a paper on for school. Anyway, both of the articles that I wrote for the Columbia star can be found here. It was an amazing feeling when I was first published. There’s something magical about seeing my words in print and being recognized for them.

Even though what I’ve written for the Holstee site won’t be in print, it will still be connected with my name, and it’ll still be “published” since my name will be connected to what I’ve written, which will also include the picture of me that is on my “About Me” page on this blog. Anyway, I’m excited to be published for a third time, and I will be sure to let all of you know when the site goes live so that you can read what I’ve written.

For information on how you can write your own story on how the Holstee Manifesto has impacted you, go here.