When I started this blog I wanted to claim its title that I share with my journals eight years and counting. I knew I wanted to showcase my work. I just didn’t know what I wanted to write.
Writing here wasn’t like my book writing projects. I struggled with giving it a purpose; my tagline represents this and finally after a month of daily effort, my blog is in sync: I find comfort in art and words and I hope whoever stumbles upon this page finds the gratification in knowing being lost is a part of the journey of becoming the person they want to be.
Learning that tagging allows people to find my blog was exciting. I only realized this in my month of dedication to my blog. In the past in attempt to set it up, I created various prose pieces about life and college in a personal journal format. This time having a plan allowed me to consider the other features of WordPress that was very beneficial.
The biggest take away from this experience was self-discovery. I loved waking up and writing. I loved writing when an idea struck in the afternoon and late at night. I loved being able to work on other projects during the day but returning to the blog to continue its purpose. My first true summer break gave me the privilege of doing what I love. In the coming chapters of my life when career and personal responsibilities take precedence, the luxury of writing on a frequent basis will be a challenge. But I can never stay away too long.
My freshman year in college I read an article in the Daily Targum, Rutgers’s newspaper, about Junot Diaz, the author of The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao. What drew me to the article was specifically that he lived in Demarest Hall all four years of his college experience – exactly what I planned to do (instead I lived there all three years before I graduated early). The dormitory is quite charming in appearance from the outside, but the indoor hovel is a disappointment to many. But if you are open-minded enough you quickly learn that the building has history and forums and a community that dares to be of independent thought. The building carries a stigma of anyone living there being weird but that only fascinated me. And when I read about the man who’s own experiences propelled him toward writing, I took his advice to heart. Four years later, I still remember it crisply: writing is like any other sport, it requires practice, practice, practice. Diaz shared that he spent five hours a day writing – the end product of which wasn’t necessarily good, but that wasn’t the goal. It was a part of the journey in which his persistence, determination, expression and love for language would in time pay off.
Now I wish I could go back and spend five hours a day writing but I did not do it then and as much as I tried this summer, I will not be able to continue to do so. But I will keep writing to get more practice to better my craft. Because when you commit to writing, it is more than a hobby.
Not everything you write will be good. And it doesn’t have to be – write your ideas down to edit or expand later. Each project you take on will undergo growing up: creation, reformatting, perfection, deletion, rewrite and editing and finally satisfaction. It can take hours to years, but the end product makes it worth it: to know you did it, articulated a message vibrantly and authentically that is ready to be shared.
This is only the beginning.