I used to be a writer. In fact I used to write all the time. When I was younger I convinced my dad to let me use the family laptop to write stories. I wrote stories about superheroes, stories about everyday people, stories about the news. I would write any and everything that came to mind. I was for all intents and purposes a writer.
When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the first answer was always, you guessed it, a writer. But as I grew up and began to write academically, something changed. My mind was no longer free to roam and explore freely. I was forced to think inside the academic box and adhere to rules of limits and expectations. I was told that these things would make me a better writer, but in reality all they did was turn me away. As I progressed through the academic system, it only became worse. With each new English teacher came a different preference, a different writing style, and a distance from the freedom I once enjoyed.
Writing became a chore, something that I was required to attempt to perfect for the one person who held my grade in the balance. It was for this reason, that I actually turned away from writing stories and began writing poetry and songs instead. I knew that if I wrote these things, the rules were more laxed. I could slide more things under the radar. I could be smart and witty and break the so called rules of traditional writing. But it’s not the same.
Every so often I would return to writing prose or essays or blog posts. It’s in me to tell a story, write medium form content. I cannot escape, no matter how hard I try. I love writing songs and poetry. It’s freeing and stretches me creatively and to be frank, music is my shit. But prose, blogs, essays, are the things that intellectuals crave. The thing that helps me realize just how smart I truly am.
To weave words in and out of one another, it becomes a dance or a game and I love to do tricks and show off. Now obviously I’m not the best writer in the world, not by far. But I feel like my words hold power. My words have meaning. And words usually, live forever. A writer was all I knew how to categorize myself as. But now I’m a creator and words are a critical part of my creation process. In fact, I wrote all of this even before I spoke it. Written language is truly amazing. I used to be a writer.
Listen to the podcast version: WIMA – I Used to be a Writer