Monday, February 06, 2006

The Joy of Writing

It almost sounds like the title of a self-help, do-it-yourself style book. But seriously, the joy of writing has given me hope and inspiration throughout my life. The feel of a pen in my hand against a blank piece of paper has always just filled me with a sense of comfort...As though I were about to reveal the most important thoughts and secrets hiding within my soul to an old and cherished friend.

There has never been a situation in my life where I did not want to take up that pen and capture the moment on that paper. Some of the more precious recollections have been worth reading over and over again -- such as my wedding day thoughts, the journaling of my first pregnancy, the notes I took when we were adopting our first five children...I have even been able to incorporate some of those notes in my scrapbooking, to share with future family and friends.

Of course, not every memory is a happy one, and some of my earlier "works" were banished to a box or thrown out with the garbage. But I have found that, through writing, I can either escape the problem, resolve the problem or work through the problem. Some of my earlier writings were the writings of a love-sick schoolgirl...And while they hold some fond memories, when reading them I can recall the heartbreak I felt.

When I read the things I wrote about meeting my husband, it makes me smile as I close my eyes to picture the details -- the racquetball court towering over us while we played during our early courtship, the starlit nights when we sat on a picnic bench planning our future. When I read about an argument I had years ago with my sister, it makes me cry that we were so petty, but it also makes me thankful that I have grown up enough to apologize. Yes, writing can bring a lot of things into focus.

Recording memories is not the only thing I've done...I have been writing little bits and pieces of novels since I was ten. I remember taking great care with the wording, searching my imagination to come up with the elements I knew I needed. I wrote about classmates, wrote about things I hoped would really happen, wrote about things I knew would never happen in my ordinary life. I am anxious to begin this journey again.

I am excited to be taking a few writing courses from Barnes & Noble University online. As I plow through the materials, I will be looking forward to sharing with you what I'm learning, whether through little posts about my life or chapters I hope to turn into novels.