Identity

I used to identify as a writer. As a teenager, I blogged, I participated in IFs, and I wrote fanfiction, original fiction, plays, poems, and essays. My pursuit of a medical career coincided with reaching my twenties, and writing became less of a creative outlet. My writing since then has been a tool for exploration and connection. Both my current relationships, especially in the early stages, involved lots of long chats and letter length emails (and even handwritten letters!).

Conversation is important to me. Many (most? all?) of my favorite moments with other people have involved one on one conversations. Some of these with people I love, with people I might have loved, with good friends, with acquaintances, with family, and some with people I only had that one conversation with and nothing else. Some were fast paced, almost pressured conversations, the kinds filled with lots of “Me too!” and “I know, right?!” Others were languid, lounging conversations, periodically emerging from comfortable silences filled with cuddles, disappearances into personal thoughts, or pleasant distractions in the form of good food and drink.

But writing is another way of connecting and conversing. It’s a present left on a door stop, and I ring the bell and disappear before you open the door. It’s a vulnerable, perhaps cowardly form of communication, often used for things you can’t bear to say face to face, like confessions, but I believe there can be strength and courage in it as well. Writing feels like a more natural and honest way for me to express myself. The way I write more closely mirrors who I feel I am than the way I talk, and I miss how natural it feels to tinker with words. Yes, I still blog, but I haven’t really been crafting most of my posts. I’ve been telling, not giving a carefully guided tour.

I’ve been thinking for a while about waking up earlier, as a way to cultivate chances to write longer emails to my boyfriends. Then I started seeing people talk about NaNoWriMo this year, and feeling left out. I think writing needs to become an Important Thing again. Not in a regimented way, but in the way that I try to eat well, stay reasonably active, and sleep a bit more than the bare minimum. I’m taking the easy way out by not impulsively jumping on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon (more like sketchy high-speed train), but my goal is to spend even just a few minutes every day this month consciously, carefully writing something, anything (but most likely an email, a snippet of a story, a poem, or a blog post).

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