I Started Journaling So That I Wouldn't Lose My Love Of Writing

I Started Journaling So That I Wouldn't Lose My Love Of Writing Along The Way

It's exhausting having to split your writing skills three ways nearly every single week.

15
views

Throughout your life, you're always going to be writing. For me, the majority of my writing consists of articles or essays. Most of the time when I write, it's not because I want to, it's because I have to.

Senior year in high school, I split myself between three forms of writing: journalism, English and creative writing. I voluntarily joined the newspaper because I loved to write articles. I took AP Literature because

1) I had to take an English class,

2) I loved the teacher who taught it, and

3) I do genuinely enjoy reading and analyzing many of the things we read in English class. I took a creative writing class because I love poetry, short stories, and books.

At first, I didn't mind all the writing, after it all it was something that I loved to do, but after a while, I became mentally and creatively drained. It's exhausting having to split your writing skills three ways nearly every single week. The best way I could describe it is like having part of your creativity being ripped away from you faster than it could regenerate, leaving me uninspired and grey.

Soon enough, I started to fall out of love with all the types of writing, but I couldn't stop and recharge, I had to keep going because I was being graded on it and because I hate not giving at least 100% to anything I do.

At this point, I was no longer writing for myself, and it was one of the worst feelings in the world. My love for writing started to disintegrate and it left me feeling empty, lost and upset. When a new writing assignment came along, I looked at it with dread instead of it sparking joy and getting my creative juices flowing.

But then, at one point towards the end of the first semester, I got a break. I didn't have any assignments due for any of my writing classes for a week. It was a weird feeling not having any writing obligations so finally, I sat down in my bed, listened to one of my favorite playlists and I wrote. But this time, I wrote for myself. I started to once again, voluntarily give away pieces of my creativity.

This was how I discovered journaling, or at least my version of journaling. I would write whatever came to mind in one of my ever-growing collection of journals. Sometimes it was poems, sometimes it was my thoughts on the political climate, other times they were letters to people in my life, or they were random phrases that would randomly pop into my head, anything and everything.

I was actually exposed to this type of journaling in my creative writing class and we were required to write a certain number of entries each week for a grade, but before this point, journaling didn't feel like something for myself, it felt like a weekly chore that I had to do so that I wouldn't fail the class.

But now, months after I finished that class, I still journal. Not because I have to, but because I don't want to forget why I love writing.

Popular Right Now

10 Things You'll Recognize If You Grew Up In A Small Town

Those stop signs were more like suggestions.
695
views

Whether you're from the Northwest or Southeast, all small towns share basically the same characteristics.

From hanging out at car washes to eating endless meals at that Mexican restaurant, if you're from a small town, you'll probably relate to one (if not all) of these things:

1. Yes, that Mexican restaurant.

Whether you came here to eat after ball games or simply came because there was nothing better to do, you probably spent way to much money on burritos and cheese dip. (For real though, cheese dip was so worth that extra $3).

2. Churches. Churches everywhere.

There seemed to be more churches than people, and everywhere you went one of them was staring you in the face. At least you knew that the whole town was covered on seats when it came to Sunday services.

3. Yep, you hung out at the car wash.

For some odd reason, teenagers like to hang out at the car wash. We don't know why we did, we just did. No car every got cleaned. We just sat on our hoods or tailgates and talked or listened the music. What a wild night.

4. Quick stops.

Gas stations were called quick stops and thank God for those quick stops. You could fill up your tank and get a snack without having to drive 30 minutes to the nearest city. Plus their boiled peanuts were always the bomb. #blessed

5. "Stop" signs.

Those stop signs were more like suggestions. No cop, no stop, right? Same thing with speed limits - merely suggestions.

6. The football field.

Fall Friday nights were made for football games, and there was no getting out of it. Do any of you small town girls really remember going on a Friday night date? Yeah, me neither. Football games were the closest you were going to get to a date on Fridays. You either waited for Saturday or the end of the season. Honestly though, those Friday nights hold some of you and your friends' favorite memories.

7. The good ole grocery store.

Sorry bud, Walmart, Costo, and Kroger were 30 minutes away, and driving to the city was not about to happen. You either went to Shop and Save or Piggly Wiggly for your groceries.

8. "The park."

You either played as a kid, coached a peewee team, refereed as a teenager, or simply watched your siblings play here. No matter the case, you've been to the park, and you're lying if you say you haven't.

9. Those white welcome signs.

Literal *cringe* just looking at it. Passing this sign after coming home from the city meant you were once again stuck in this little town with nothing to do, but you honestly kind of love having nothing to do sometimes.

10. This view.

Sure, there's not a whole lot going on in your small town, but with views like this you can't complain. #NatureIsCool #SoAreSmallTowns

Cover Image Credit: Myself

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Fanfiction IS A Legitimate Form Of Creative Writing

There's more to fanfiction than bad grammar and Mary-Sues.

12
views

If you've heard of fanfiction, you're probably aware of the negative connotations that come with it. Fanfiction, or fiction written by fans of a TV show, book, or any other original creation, is often associated with unpolished writing and out-of-character shenanigans. It's not uncommon to hear people laugh about how all fanfic writers are prepubescent kids too wrapped up in fake ships (relationships in the fandom) and unrealistic fantasies. Some people even characterize fanfiction as a form of plagiarism, since the writers essentially use a fandom's pre-existing characters in a different plot.

While many stories are, indeed, in need of serious editing, a lot of fanfic is highly sophisticated. Some writers are able to capture the characters in their chosen fandom so completely that the story seems authentic to the universe it's written in. It's hard for me to dismiss these writers as uninspired copycats because their writing clearly shows that they have a firm grip on characterization and plot. My own attempts at writing fanfic have convinced me that proper characterization in fanfic is often harder than creating original characters. Fanfic writers don't have as much freedom to make characters perform certain actions, as they must constantly think about whether the characters are authentic to the original work.

On the flip side, some writers diverge so much from the original work that they essentially create a plot and characters of their own. Many famous authors got their start in fanfiction, including Cassandra Clare (best known for "The Mortal Instruments" series), Meg Cabot (best known for "The Princess Diaries" series), and S.E. Hinton (best known for "The Outsiders"). But when readers hear that these authors have written fanfiction, many of them assume that their stories are unoriginal or retrospectively look at their writing more critically. Suddenly, every questionable plot device or flawed characterization is reflective of the authors' origins in fanfiction, despite the fact that accomplished authors who haven't written fanfiction make those same mistakes.

The assumption that fanfiction writers can only create derivative work, even in their original stories, is especially true for the creation of characters. When I tell people that a certain author has written fanfiction, they'll often start looking for similarities between the author's original characters and characters in the author's fandom. While this author's characters may have begun in fanfiction, they've diverged so much that they're not the same characters anymore. If most people can accept that original characters change drastically from their inception, why are characters born from fanfiction seen as unoriginal when they've changed just as dramatically?

Just like in any creative form, there are good and bad sides to fanfiction. A lot of fanfiction is flawed, whether the story has bad grammar, Mary-Sues (unrealistic characters that lack flaws), or gaping plot holes. But at the end of the day, it's important to remember to push past the prevailing narrative that certain art forms are more legitimate than others, simply because they're more mainstream.

Related Content

Facebook Comments