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Why I Write: Part 1- The Genesis

Why do I write? Well, I plan on expounding on this in the next few articles, but I thought I would discuss the genesis of when I became a writer. My first thought would be 2011 when I wrote an article for Focus, the monthly publication for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). More about that later. Further pondering reminded me that the beginning of this exercise started long ago.

Early Written Pieces

The reason my earlier displays did not come to mind more readily is because, at that time, the use of pen was for drawing. I adored drawing people for as long as I remembered and continued to do so throughout my adolescence. Because this dominated, my writing receded into the background, but as you can see, not totally.

There are a couple of creative attempts I wish to mention, and there is a purpose for this. When I was nine years of age, our school teacher assigned my class a story to write. I do not recall the exact request, but I remember going home for lunch, as many children did attending public schools in the nineteen sixties. My dad, who worked nights, gave me my lunch, and I penned a story entitled, ”Jonathan and The Roman Shoes.” I remember the ideas flowed smoothly from my young mind to the paper.

My Memories of Jonathan

Writing this now, I am almost laughing because I can see where I was seated at the kitchen table, as I wrote vigorously. I remember the story was about a young man who had shoes with wings on them. These magical shoes took Jonathan on a flight back in time to meet a Roman Emperor. I still see with vividness the picture I drew of Jonathan in his winged shoes smiling at the welcoming Emperor. My teacher gave me an A-minus for this simple but creative piece.

The Crystal Ball

A few years later, I joined a few of my classmates in seventh grade, developing a yearbook. We arrived at different ideas and unique roles. I decided to ask each student to envision their future professions. Taking their information, I created a section of this book with a crystal ball predicting every class member’s job. Now, this was not creative since they offered me their thoughts, but the way I wrote it was. I can’t recall most of this episode, but what is striking is the pleasure of using my imagination and writing about my ideas.

Papers for Education

I do not recollect any salient written pieces from that point forward. Yes, there were the typical term papers and essays throughout the years, including graduate school, but I never thought I would include writing as part of my professional identity until my mid-fifties. In 2011, at the encouragement of a lovely member of NASW, I wrote about hypnosis to help members recognize its many uses beyond weight loss and smoking cessation. I remember it was a frightening process to wait and see if the editors would accept it and the community of social workers view it positively.

Giving Voice Again

Next, I wrote a few articles for an organization on aging and received some pushback from some readers because I celebrated choice around work and purpose passed age sixty-five. After responding respectfully, I decided the desire to write had awakened me from my somnolence. At that point, there was no stopping me. I began writing on Linked In and, eventually, other places.

Why am I sharing all of this with you? Not long ago, a colleague from BizCatalyst 360° wrote an excellent article about creativity. I remember a commenter stated his belief that not everyone is capable of writing. I did not wish to get into a debate on LinkedIn, but I am writing this article to challenge that premise.

Also, I would contend there is nothing extraordinary about me. All I have done is to take the necessary steps to exercise my desire to share ideas.

The Uniqueness of Each Writer

Writers are unique with their DNA. Yes, some are lyrical, like many of my mellifluous colleagues. Some are strictly academic. Many have imaginations beyond words. Others, like me, are more conversational. I write as if I were speaking to you.

Some may argue that not all of us can be engineers, scientists, etc. I would concur, but if we are capable of speaking, we are capable of writing. The only elements you need is the desire to transcend your ideas onto paper, to have the courage to reveal your work, and the tenacity to keep at it. I will echo those who agree with my position. Writing is like a muscle. The more you work at it, the more chiseled it will become. Do not let fear impede you. If you have something to say, give it a try. You may get pushback or fall, but do not be deterred.

Begin Right Now?

Do you have a yearning to express yourself on paper? Did you ever write something creative when you were young and gave little thought to it until now? If you have, invite the roots of that child’s creativity to sprout again. If not, perhaps, the hidden treasures have been waiting to be explored. What better time than now?

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Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. She is also referred to as the "Unstuck Expert" in her many roles. Why? Because for over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. Although she loves speaking, it is now secondary and done mainly through her podcast, "Get Unstuck Now. Because of her wealth of experience, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper.  Many of her blogs can also be found on Medium, Sixty and Me, and DarleneCorbett.com. Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, "Stop Depriving The World of You," traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Being a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene has tried her hand at fiction, hoping to have something completed in the no-so-distant future. Over the years, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book.

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13 CONVERSATIONS

  1. You know, Darlene, as someone who also writes more conversationally, I agree. I think the biggest roadblock for people is that they don’t trust themselves and they have difficulty dealing with the inherent vulnerability. To write requires one to reveal ourselves. To reveal our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, beliefs, imagination. Unlike most of the time when we speak, when we write it down (and especially if we write it on social media) it’s out there for good. Others may comment or judge. We can see our own words and measure their truth. Our words become a reflection of who we are. Because of that, writing can be a very vulnerable thing to do. And yet, for me, there is nothing that brings me back to myself, that clears the clutter and allows me to hear my own voice better than writing. So I too encourage people to write. If only for yourself. Write yourself whole.

    • Thank you, Kimberly, for your thoughtful and inspirational comment. I agree. Initially, it is difficult for most of us to share our writing because it is exposure to our inner voice. For those who prefer not to do that, you are right, do it for yourself. I plan on writing about how it can be therapeutic.💖

  2. Thank you for sharing this story, Darlene. I suspect we all have unique journeys that led us to embrace writing. It sat dormant in me for quite some time, aside from academic and business writing. The more personal, reflective, and creative writing emerged for me in 2015. Still, it was a slow and often sporadic process. But even though it has been slow going, the connection I feel when I’m writing is undeniable. It’s where I feel at home.

  3. Darlene – Wonderful article that should encourage folks to limber up their fingers and attack the keyboard with zeal.

    I started writing to share the leadership lessons I learned in the Marine Corps. The feedback encouraged me to put the article together in a book. It will never be my retirement fund, but it was such a meaningful experience.

    Then a BC360 friend began publishing pictures and encouraging folks to write a story based on the picture. I discovered I enjoyed storytelling based on the stories of my life.

    So I write – for the joy – for the voice – for a chance touch a heart. So, from your article, we are kindred spirits whose fingers gleefully dance across the keys to the music of our minds as words paint a picture on a LED canvas. 😊

  4. I appreciate you even more Darlene after you sharing in the heart of your writing journey. This must have been quite delightful for you to reconnect over the years of where and how what parts of you that you have stepped into. I do believe your point is translucent is that anyone can write if you want to if you have the gusto and innate desire to go for it. Encouraging and just a great perspective on how things can change in all directions for any of us! Cheers to your creative fearlessness!

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