I always wanted to play the piano. I loved the way it sounded. I loved how people could move their fingers across the keys to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
When I first started writing in middle school, there was always a topic and a rubric you had to follow to make the grades. I would always try to put my spin on it and wrote whatever I saw fit. I took inspiration from movies and books without even noticing it.
When my senior year came around, I was miserable. I wanted to get away from my hometown and everyone in it. I wanted to write myself out of it, so I did. I began a small blog where I just posted candidly about how I was feeling. I didn't care if it got a lot of views- or any at all for that matter. I just wanted a place to compile feelings I couldn't describe and put them into words. It helped me to think about everything and think through it all individually forming it into sentences. I realized, when I stopped focusing on trying to please someone or follow a rubric, my best work came from my own thoughts.
Before heading off to UGA, I started writing on Odyssey. I struggled with finding my brand and what I wanted to write about since this was more than just inspirational posts I wrote when I was bored and needed to sort out my feelings. I tried to write about what was interesting to me. Some I was proud of. Some I wasn't.
But my writing improved when I did. When I finally got my feet wet at school I learned a lot about myself and what I cared about. I didn't want to just fill a word count with meaningless topics. I wanted to write what I wanted to read, what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to share my life with a public audience. I wrote the best about what closest to me- and that was my life itself. I wrote about sorority recruitment and how I felt turning nineteen and how going to UGA flipped my world upside down. I began to write what I casually talked about. I constantly gave advice and filled my mom in on what I was doing, so the words came easy. When you write what you speak, it's simple.
Writing is one of those things that doesn't come with a formula sheet or a test bank. You just have to do it.
You have to think out-loud but instead of saying it, writing it, The grammar and organization will work itself out later, but the thoughts won't always. You have to always write the first thing you think. Use the keyboard as your tongue. It's your way to communicate except with so many more people than your mouth could ever reach.
It's like a puzzle. You have to figure out not just how to arrange what you want to say but place it in the correct spot at the right angle for people to understand the full picture. You have to see the way things fit together, the way the flow. You have to look at what angle captures what you're truly trying to show. You just have to solve it.
The truth is: Everyone has their own style of writing and what works for them. Some people brainstorm list after list of ideas while others wait for a creative kick and are instantly inspired. Some people care more about grammar structure and proper punctuation while others just want their ideas to be read.
I always wanted to write. I loved the way it sounded. I loved how people could move their fingers across the keys to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.