I Never Wanted To Do That Writing Thing

It happened again today. That thing. That thing that keeps tickling me and making me worry….worry that I may actually end up in a writing-intensive career.

Let’s get one thing straight right now: I never really liked to write. I mean, as a kid I sorta kept a written journal, and I still have a LiveJournal that I occasionally post in (usually to vent about something silly) but writing was never my thing. I did it to finish the homework, get the grades, keep going up and onwards in school.

Ok, I was pretty good at it. People told me I was pretty good at it. It also helped that I wasn’t a procrastinator and if I had a paper to do, I did it. An outline, rough draft, few revisions, Save + Print + DONE. I can’t remember ever getting notable joy from the act of writing…creating sentences. Crafting paragraphs. Getting my point across. I dunno, it was just something necessary, so I did it. And usually got an A.

But recently (the past 2 years) this THING has started happening. I believe it began when I was working at Changents under the magnificent (though incredibly challenging) direction of Alex and Deron. They literally taught me to write to COMMUNICATE. And God help me, I loved it.

I’d find myself really enjoying an afternoon of creating write ups on potential Change Agents. Then of course I’d email it to Deron, who would point out a bizillion ways to make it better, I’d feel discouraged…but then energized. Because I understood – I can make it better. And then I did.

And that’s the thing.

And it happened again this morning, between 10:21am and 11:46am. That hour and 20 minutes seemed like 10 minutes. I had been having difficulties crafting this write-up for the From the Top Arts Leadership Map on Gregg Breinberg (music teacher extraordinaire). I had a bunch of info, quotes, etc… But for the past week I couldn’t make the stupid words into a stupid interesting article.

Until this morning. And that thing happened. I had my Firefox tabs with all his resources, the word document up, and I dived in, head first. I ignored the stupid sentences and just started writing. Reading. Researching. Revising. Lots and lots of deletion. Making it better.

It was thrilling. And I hated that when I looked up it was almost lunch time and I realized I had been truly enjoying myself.

I DON’T WANT TO BE A WRITER! To me, being a writer has always seemed…self-indulgent. Which is contradictory because I LOVE to read. Whatever. It just wasn’t my thing.

But I’m finally realizing that when I’m happiest at From the Top is when I’m writing either the newsletters, email communications, or most recently, these map articles.

That scares me. My entire college career was focused on video production, which I LOVED (and still love!) but somehow I fell into the world of editorial, social media, and marketing. I’ve been telling myself this isn’t the world I want to be in. I want to make movies. I want to make people FEEL. I want to evoke emotions, pull thoughts out of your head, make you disagree, agree, or whatever.

Wait. Isn’t that what books have been doing for me for my ENTIRE life? Is it possible words can have the same impact as moving images? Maybe…maybe not. I’ve been more moved by movies than books in my time.

But as it turns out, these days I’m happiest when I’m writing.

Ahh….shit.

Maybe it’s time to create a writing samples page on this site? Yeah, I think it’s time.

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