During sophomore year, I went on a week-long meditation retreat in Bolinas with a small group of juniors and seniors from my high school, Marin Academy. We spent the week meditating, but also were assigned a task: spend 3 or so hours a day working on a personal art project. It could be a song, a writing piece, a photograph, a drawing – anything that spoke to YOU. I knew I would have no hope in any other realm besides writing, and I already had confidence in analytical writing, so I decided to give creative writing a shot. Since then, I have fallen in love with the creative non-fiction writing genre, signing up for the creative non-fiction class at school and even getting published on a few occasions. I have many pieces saved on my computer. They range in length, tone, and topic. Some are short, while others are long, many are happy but quite a few are sad. They discuss a multitude of subjects, from grief to politics to family. I have always dreamed of someday putting all of my pieces in a central location for friends and family to read. Now that I have a blog, this seems like the perfect place to do just that. I’ve decided that every Friday, as I prepare to welcome in the Shabbat and focus on reflection and introspection, I will post a new piece under the Creative Writing tab. All of these will have been written sometime in the last 3 years, until I run out and finally get around to writing some new pieces. I’m very nervous but excited to begin this new journey of releasing my creative writing into the world. I hope you enjoy!
Why I Write (first Creative Nonfiction class assignment – senior year)
I write because I am. I write because I see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. I write because I feel, because I hurt, because I care, and because I smile.
I write because when I am laying on the beach, there is nothing more that I want to do than describe the color of the blue sky – vibrant and deep like the blue frosting on a Costco cake, but also gentle and soothing, like the “it’s a boy!” announcement on an aunt’s expectancy card. I want to recount the firm, smooth sand which sends chills down my spine as a breeze whistles over the beach. I want to share the sounds of the ocean in all of its rhythmic glory – a roaring crescendo, a soothing decrescendo. In a moment of sheer amazement, I want to lock the sounds, scenery, sensations, and feelings away in my mind forever, but my camera will not suffice. So, I write.
I write because after a long, agonizing fight with someone I used to call a friend, as rage and hopelessness devour my body and soul, my only loyal companion seems to be the smooth, navy Barnard journal lying on my desk. It calls my name, begging me to free myself from the pit I’ve dug myself into and take a load off of my heavy heart as it sinks deeper into emotional quicksand. My journal is omniscient yet clueless, knowing everything about me but also never expecting a single thing.
I write to leave a trace. I write to document my existence and to take stock of my memories, both good and bad. I write so that one day, an old woman in her house with the heat blasting too high and the sun peeking through her distastefully flowery curtains will read this evidence of her being, and remind herself that if she lived through the yellowing pages full of tears, laughs, victories, failures, love, and loss, nothing will ever stop her.
Most importantly, I write because like my life, my writing is imperfect, but also like my life, my writing is what I make of it. So rather than writing for a grade, for publication, or for approval, I write for myself. I write the raw, honest truth, letting my words mirror my reality. My writing convinces me time after time that I am okay, that I am worthy, that when I fall, I will get back up again.
Put most simply, I write as an acknowledgment of the past, a guide for the future, and a struggle with the right now.