When I first started writing, it was for the sheer joy and mystery of it all. It was just downright amazing to me that I could think up anything I wanted and then make it, well, make it real just by writing it down. I got hooked.
I think always knew I wanted to write and play music. I was trying to make music when I was in diapers; I’d bang on pots, pans, my momma’s lampshades – anything that made sound was fair game.
I used to not pay attention to my school work so I could write songs. Even before I played an instrument I was writing down lyrics and singing melodies as they popped into my head. Somewhere in the stacks of my childhood is my first album, sung a cappella and recorded in glorious one track mono on my Radio Shack cassette player.
Those were the days.
Later, when I went to college, I found out you could major in English and get a degree, just for writing. And the good news didn’t stop there. It turns out, people will pay you for this too. Don’t ever tell me life’s not fair. I worked my way through school as a reporter (and web developer, and fast food slinger – I was broke, after all) and skated my way through class after literature class on the strength of coffee and cigarette fueled all-nighters. And all the while, my guitar was a constant companion and trusted friend.
But something happened to my writing during those college years. I started writing out of necessity. Don’t think I didn’t still love it, but my relationship with words was changing. I focused less on the joy and more on the deadlines; I was wrapped up in the why rather than the writing.
Now I try to write to answer the questions I ask myself as I kick off the sheets on a sultry night in late July. I’m rediscovering the joy of writing; rekindling my love affair with words and music. And in writing for self-discovery I’ve once again awakened the mystery and marvel of exploring the uncharted landscape that language unfolds.