When I was 9, my English teacher would assign a writing prompt each week. It was given to us on Monday and due on Friday, but as soon as the 3 o’clock bell rang at the end of Monday, I’d already be paragraphs deep in the next week’s “Adventures of June Summers,” my series of short stories.
At the end of the school year, my teacher sent me home with a note to my parents, “Rachel is quiet in class, except on Fridays when she reads her essays out loud. She should start keeping a journal. I hope she keeps that passion alive for as long as she can.” So I did.
My desk in my parents’ house has notebook upon notebook of childhood dreams and secrets. Which boy at school was the cutest (that week, obviously)? Would I become a scientist or a teacher when I grew up? Why-oh-why did I have to go to afterschool care when all my friends’ moms picked them up right at 3? And, of course, the latest gossip among my friends.
In middle school, I had a friend who was very into creating her own website – a weblog is what she called it. I thought it was so cool and decided to start my own. I kept it for years, throughout high school. Here’s a great excerpt from it:
And then I stopped. When I started college, there was something inside me that said, “Keep your thoughts to yourself. They’re not of interest to anyone else.” I started writing a lot for school – and then started writing as a career, but rarely about myself. I sporadically wrote about my cooking adventures in a food blog, but there was always something that kept me from writing too much about myself. “No one cares,” a little voice in my mind said.
But recently I realized that’s just the thing – despite all the self-absorbed B.S. that is today’s social media world – I never wrote anything previously with the expectation, or even hope, that anyone cared. That wasn’t the point.
So here I am now. We’ll see how this goes – my first note, in a very long time, being sent out into the universe.