Notebooks and pens will never go out of style because of people like me. Here’s why.
I started writing when I was seven. It was nothing fancy, just letters to my three aunts and uncle who live islands away. My childhood summers were mostly spent with them; the rest of the year I had to contend with writing letters that always started with “Hi! How are all of you doing?”
Then, I wrote my first poem at the age of ten. I think it was about nature and turtles. I showed it to my aunt who beamed at me with delight after reading it. That single act of affirmation started my passion for writing. I scoured the dictionary looking for flowery words I could use in my poems. I’d find ten rhyming ones then construct a verse or two from them. Nobody told me the rules about writing poetry. At that age, all I knew was they had to rhyme.
I first tasted the joy of being a published author when I was 11. My two-verse poem, an ode to the beauty of nature mostly resembling the well-loved All Things Bright And Beautiful, made it to my school paper’s cut and was placed on a little corner at the very back page of the newsletter. But what mattered to me wasn’t the placing my poem got; it was the fact that I got to see my written piece in printed form. The idea supports Lindsey Pratt Psychotherapy, LMHC, statement. “Get outside of whatever your thought of traditional journaling may mean, and have fun with it!”
I bore the “writing queen” moniker all throughout my school years. I wasn’t only the Feature Editor of my school’s newsletter from elementary through middle school and until high school; I entered every writing contest I could chance upon. It wasn’t that I didn’t lose. It was that I would always volunteer whenever teachers came in to ask who would want to join a specific writing competition. I loved writing and putting my thoughts on paper. The cash prizes I won were just extras.
Many said that writing was in my blood. After all, my dad worked (up until now) as an editor-in-chief of a local newspaper. Yes, my father factored in my skills as a writer (he tutored me and edited some of my write-ups) but my love for putting thoughts on paper stemmed from my passion and not from anybody else’s.
There are a lot of things in my head that only make sense when I write them down on pen and paper. If I’d kept all the notebooks I used for all my word doodles from when I started writing until now, they would have filled a big bookshelf or two. Though “Not everyone agrees, that the mere act of writing is necessarily beneficial. In fact, initial writing about trauma triggers distress and physical and emotional arousal, researchers have found. And not all people will work through that distress therapeutically or through continued writing.” Helen Marlo, PhD said. Even so, I still believe in the power of writing.
I’m not a native English speaker. English is just a second language we use at home. But my mind’s eloquence on this particular patois and how my hands can capture that expressiveness into paper is fascinating. Sadly, my mouth couldn’t keep up as I’m not a very articulate English speaker.
When people ask me why I love to write, I couldn’t come up with a specific answer. I love it just like how I love smelling books in between pages. I love it just like how I love the smell of freshly mowed grass. I love it just like how I love my husband and kids even when they get on my nerves at times.
My writing isn’t about the mental and emotional benefits I could get from the practice. It’s not even about the money that comes with the territory, either. Writing is the language my soul speaks. According to Kathy Hardie-Williams, NCC, LPC, LMFT, “Some have found it valuable to keep journals and then go back and read them to see how far they have progressed.” And I like that.
When I was a kid, my most prized possessions are my notebooks and my pens. Now, they still hold a dear place in my heart.