On Writing

Two posts in two days. I know, amazing. If that’s a shocker, prepare to have your socks blown off–there could be two posts today alone!

Why the sudden (hopefully permanent) resurgence in writing? Because writing is something that makes me me.

When I applied to law school, like every other law student, I had to write a personal statement. It was supposed to showcase why I believed each school should accept me. After much prayer, rather than write a typical, almost narrated version of a bullet point list that said, “I want to be a lawyer because I have X, Y, and Z career goals, and these are the five skills I possess that will aid me in achieving those goals,” I wrote an illustrative piece.

Writing on the “Sheppard Board.”

I told the story of how I learned to write, starting with writing “A-M-Y” on a MagnaDoodle tablet dubbed a “Sheppard Board,” ending with my publishing an article in Michigan History the year I graduated from college. As the story progressed, I expressed the lessons I learned and the skills I developed that would help me in school. Same information as any other personal statement. But crafted a little differently. Because writing is what I do.

Or what I did. I started journaling in the fourth grade, and on average, I would I say I finished a 200ish page journal a year. Some times I would finish two in a year. I highly valued writing. Then I came to law school. I am still on the same journal that I began in the summer of 2008–a couple of months before starting law school. I’m barely halfway through it, two years later. I don’t reflect on my experiences anymore. I don’t record them.

And I don’t blog. At least not all that often. I write on here even less frequently than I did on my xanga during my missionary year. Even then, I was keeping a daily log on my computer, though, and writing in my journal.

No other forms of writing have filled this void in the last two years. Except legal writing. Which isn’t the same. A useful, essential skill in my line of work, for sure. But not the same type of creative expression that writing in my past brought me. As rewarding as completely a brief or memo can be (and it can actually be rewarding), I need to supplement it with different writing.

The few times that I have picked up my journal in law school to write, the first thing I often have scribbled is “I can’t believe it’s been X-months since I last wrote. I never write anymore. I don’t even know who I am.”

And that’s the problem. Writing was something I loved, something I was passionate about. Writing was a part of what made me me. The only thing I ever wanted to do with my life. I didn’t care in what capacity. As long as I could write. Well, I guess I should have told myself as long as I could write creatively.

Last weekend I visited some friends. Two of them blog regularly. I enjoyed being in the company of people who like to communicate via the written word. Somehow, not surprisingly, writing came up. And then one of my friends asked me asked, “Amy, do you write any more?”

“No.”

“You should. You can’t let it die.”

“I know. I feel it dying.”

“You can’t. Just keep at it. Read what other people write. As you read you’ll remember, ‘hey, I can do that too.'”

She’s write–er, right. I need to keep on writing.

So, I’m reclaiming an important part of my identity, choosing to start exercising anew a talent that I know God has given me, and has given me success with in the past.

I’m going to keep on writing.

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