I never thought I would like to write. I wasn't the best at it in school and I never thought my thoughts could have any impact. So, not only did I keep my opinions to myself, I left the blogs and journals and articles to the more artistic homies. But as I got older I found myself forgetting the little things that brought me joy in the past.
We are so quick to remember the big events or horrible things we have experienced. Yet, we quickly forget those smaller moments in time that actually gave us a break from the negatives in our lives and gave us a moment of joy and peace.
I wasn't one for keeping a journal. Really, I'm still not. But I did write down one random day a funny moment that occurred with my friends that I originally thought I'd make an Instagram post. I forgot about it until months later and it brought back that joy that I originally felt in that moment.
Writing can be a chore if you make it that way. Whether it's for school or your job or even writing an Odyssey article once a week. Writer's block is a real and brutal thing. But sometimes when you can look back and see where you started and how you have grown, you begin to realize that you are actually giving yourself encouragement.
Being in a position where my words can either have a positive or negative effect on the homes of my readers is a responsibility that is sometimes very intimidating. I want to, of course, write things that I think my target audience will read. Like when I wrote about 'The Perfect PROMposal' When I have been out of High school for four years and had no idea what Prom was like anymore. But as my writing has developed I have come to realize who my target audience is as well.
I used to hold myself back from being too personal when it comes to my published work. I didn't think people would care to read about it and more than that, I feared the judgment and negative comments.
Until I wrote about my suicide attempt in high school, and the addictions I have battled through, and about losing my virginity at a young age and how I owned the title of the "innocent church girl". These were topics I hadn't talked to my own parents about because I was so scared of disappointing anyone. Instead, I shared my story on a platform the world could see and it brought more positivity than I could've ever imagined.
Writing freed me from myself at a time that I didn't think I needed saving.
What about you? Are you a person who can daily discipline themselves to journal every day? Do you have a weekly blog or article that you have a deadline for every week? Or are you like me and you wouldn't find the time in the day to write down anything...even if you had a few hours to kill as the kiddos were sleeping or while you were waiting for your Eggo waffles to pop out of your toaster?
Even if you don't have a "platform" you do have a voice...And it deserves to be heard.
I still feel inadequate when I share my opinions on a lot of things in this world. But I'm working on that and being even an amateur writer has helped build me to be more confident. So I encourage you to take a moment today and write down, somewhere, (even if it's on a napkin at the table you're reading this from) a moment that brought you joy this morning...And store that napkin in a book you're reading or in your bedside table. You'll forget you put it there but months from now you'll randomly find it and you'll thank yourself for encouraging you to keep going that day.
Sometimes the best advice you will hear comes from your own mouth. It just takes time to learn from what you preach.