February 27, 2012

50 Sketchbooks and learning I was a writer

I just got back from a great blogger conference in Nashville where I learned a ton of useful information, met some wonderful folks and was inspired to reach a bit deeper into my creativity stash.

stack of books

One session I attended was led by Nashville writer Jeff Goins who spoke about falling out of love with writing and ways to rekindle the flame. He challenged us to write about our own experiences with this and share them today on our blogs. So here goes. Sort of.

I never really fell out of love with writing, but that’s because I didn’t know I was in love to begin with. I didn’t even know I was a writer. Am a writer. I thought I was an artist.

Since childhood, I always wanted to be an artist. I loved art and making it came pretty easily to me so that’s how I saw myself. I doodled. I sketched. I painted occasionally. I made collages. I adored art museums, art books, and art movies. Then, one day in high school at the home of an acquaintance, I saw in his room a shelf with row after row of used up sketchbooks. There must have been fifty at least.

I had barely filled one sketchbook, let alone fifty. I felt discouraged because this obviously said something about the lack of art within me and the abundance of art inside my friend. Fast forward to college and failure to get accepted into my school’s graphic design program. Just one more instance of seeing others do something with ease that, to me, felt like pulling teeth. Prior to deciding to attend a large state school, I was planning to attend a liberal arts college (I actually had several choices in mind), thinking that was the right path for me. I'm glad I ended up where I did because not only did I make wonderful memories, but I also met my southern beau. But I digress.

What I didn’t realize was all that time my true passion was right under my nose. I might not have drawn enough for fifty sketchbooks, but over the years I’ve certainly filled fifty journals (including composition books, spiral notebooks, and the like) with my loopy cursive writing. From my first purple locking diary at age 7 to file after file on my computer’s hard drive, I’ve always written. None of this content is profound or even very exciting, but it serves to document my experiences over these past 29 years.

Jeff Goins said that to be a writer, we must say and believe as much about ourselves. Maybe for you, it’s something totally different. Maybe like with my experience, your passion is something you’ve done for years, but it feels so natural that you don’t even realize it’s what you are. Maybe it’s time to say it and believe it about yourself. Who knows where it might lead you?

{If you made it this far, thanks for reading…I know this post strays a bit from the typical southern flavor SBS is known for, but I appreciate your thoughts if it struck a chord with you.}