Young. Vibrant. Passionate. I set out to create an online magazine. This was before the concept of a blog or blogger existed. I took lessons from Hunter College as a Journalist and Media Studies Major and created a medium that made me proud.
Then”life” happened. I listened to the voices that said it was time to become a responsible adult: a person with a steady job, with health benefits. While I became responsible, my desire to write decreased. Embarrassed when someone discovered a “writer” was among them. I would cringed. Often I would correct them saying, “I aspire to write.”
Those who knew me encouraged me to write again. Eventually, I started a blog. I did what I thought was the norm, but I was failing at my new platform. I had no idea to what extent, then I wrote, “I am just a blogger trying to find my voice.” Wait-a-minute. When did I loose it? I was in a world filled with youngsters who used their voice everyday. Yet I was in my thirties, college educated, independent, and looking for mine. I no longer was the writer I once knew. Many times it felt like I was in school again and I was not at the table with the cool kids.
Writing can be therapeutic, relaxing even. But the writer in me wants to write to create. Click To Tweet
Frustrated. I picked up a book and a pen. I didn’t know what to write. So I wrote about not knowing. Sometimes it made sense. Most times it didn’t. What stayed consistent was my practice of Free Writing: writing whatever came to mind with-out editing. Soon I wrote all the time. 10 minutes, 10 words, meaningful or not, I would write.
Up to this point my writing had been therapeutic. One day I introduced myself as “Iris Kirkland, a Writer.” The sudden stares scared me. The smiles that suggested people had questions, made me nervous. I didn’t know what to tell them. It wasn’t like I had written a book, or worked for some fancy magazine. Yet, the urge came and I told a room full of strangers that I – was – a – writer. Once I said it, I wanted to pack my things and go. I didn’t. Instead, I realized while I enjoyed Free Writing, it wasn’t sufficient for the writer in me. I wanted to produce creative works that I am proud of.
I began writing.