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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

When I was 11....

The on-line writing class advertisement caught my interest. The description which was designed to reel me right in did exactly that. The ad read:

'Do any of these sound familiar?
“There is never enough time for me to write.”
“I’m not a real writer.”
“I don’t have a voice.”
“Story? What story? I don’t have a story.”
“Who would want to read my writing?”
“One day—after the kids are grown or after I retire or after I get tenure—I’ll write my story.”
“When I’m not writing, I feel irritable and restless.”
“Sometimes it’s like I don’t even know who I am. Writing is the one thing that makes me feel like myself.” 

I connected with so many of the bulleted elements. And I knew that as a born and bred Kodiak girl, this distance style of writing class was perfect for me. I could write without fear of judgement and learn to discover my voice in a group of eclectic women from all around the country.

At times when I blog, I hit speed bumps and my thoughts cease. A sense of fear of my words not being worthy of the page takes over me.   Since starting the class 2 weeks ago, I already feel this struggle improving. My instructor, Marilyn, encourages to  keep the pen moving and the ideas and words and memories will come. If there is a lapse in thoughts, ideas, she encourages us to write blank, blank, blank to keep our brains churning and activate our memories. 

The class is full of 10 minute free writes; some of which push me truly outside of my comfort zone and others which I relish in spending the time on.  

Our first free write had to do with writing memories about our grandmothers, and features of our grandmothers body that stuck out in our mind. I wrote about my grandmothers seemingly akward feet (which I inherited) , her arms, shorter stature. All features which struck me as unique to my nana. 

 When I read my second free write out loud to the group, my heart beat increased.  The assignment was "When I was 11....."

What was there really to be afraid of? Well, you couldn't convince my visceral self of that.

 I wrote about my 11 year old self and details such as boy books, fishing with my dad, riding on our bouy swing...details I couldn't imagine others finding terribly fascinating. After I shared the piece out loud, there was a moment of quiet then the others gave feedback in such a thoughtful, positive and curious way. A couple of the ladies wanted to know about the boy book; several chuckled and identified with it and others asked what it was.  After that free write reading, I knew this would be a good venue in which to find my voice.


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