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?