Friday, September 12, 2008

The invisible life

Writing. I love it. I hate it. I have always had a conflicted relationship with the craft of self-expression.

Yesterday, I turned a major corner. I started my Introduction to Magazine Writing class put together by Mediabistro. It was the first time I have formally taken a class on creative writing.

Admittedly, I was very nervous before the start of class. Was I just indulging in a fantasy? Do I have the skills and experience to be a writer? Was it even something I wanted? I had considered pulling my registration for my class. Fortunately, I stuck with the plan.

Then class began and my thoughts soon changed. I instantly felt this camaraderie with 11 others I barely knew. Our teacher, Virginia, had a presence about her that instantly made me feel at ease. We soon began pitching our ideas. She had this remarkable ability to visualize whether our idea stood a chance for publication and the names of the magazines that would be interested. My classmates were also very supportive and encouraging. In the presence of such creative energy, I instantly felt a sense of excitement and possibility - like something had been awakened deep inside of me. I had come home.

For much of my life, at least subconsciously, I stayed out of writing in order to play safe. In college, I chose to work production on the school newspaper. I helped other writers look good, while my efforts were largely invisible. I even chose classes in which I wouldn't have to write a paper!

I only chose to embrace writing again after becoming a counselor. I felt I had so much passion and excitement around food and health, that the best way for me to share would be through writing. I have learned that through writing I have the power to connect. And now by writing for magazines I am looking to bringing even more people into my life.

That said, it still doesn't make hitting the 'publish' button any easier. I guess I will just have to live courageously then. :)

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