Daydreaming about next steps Leaning into my creativity We’re due for an update This is my final column, so I thought it’d be fitting to reflect on my relationship with writing.
Starting from a young age, I documented my life through the form of writing. It began with parodying illustrated journals such as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in my school composition notebook, before growing into a more sophisticated blogspot, then to an angsty Tumblr, and finally, to my current medium. I also write on my phone and have amassed more than 11,000 notes in the past seven years.
In my journals, I write and draw how my days go by: what I do, who I see, what I eat, how I feel, any reflections and thoughts for the future. I have a detailed account of how almost every day has gone by for the past decade. For a few years, it was such an ingrained habit that I could not go to sleep without writing about my day.
Although few read what I write, I always wrote with a large imaginary audience. The fact that I knew there wasn’t actually an audience grounded me in being real and sharing the raw moments of my life.
I’m not fully aware as to why I was so persistent in my writing practice, but looking back, writing provided me with a solid companion. I wanted to share my moments of joy, sorrows and sometimes even petty complaints.
I also wanted to offload memories and permanently mark them somewhere. If I have no written account, it feels like that part of life loosely drifts away. There’s so much constantly happening that my mind simply cannot contain all of it, like sand falling through a mesh bag.
Writing is a storytelling medium that has a low barrier to entry as compared to, say, music or videos. You don’t need many complex tools — just your mind, paper and pen.
Text is also one of the most seductive mediums out there as the audience orchestrates a symphony with the author as they read.
I joined a creative writing circle last summer where we talked a lot about our writing ideas, shared past snippets and gave others feedback — but didn’t actually write that much ourselves. So when I saw the chance to apply for opinion columnist at The Daily Californian this summer, I immediately jumped at it.
I remember reading past columns and feeling goosebumps at how in-depth, nuanced and spectacular every piece was. I learned a lot and was able to gain new perspectives.
My GSI for an English course told me that writing is how you transform the abstract into reality. Without your ideas written down, you don’t know what you’re really thinking.
Similarly, this summer of introspection and writing has allowed me to gain new understandings of myself. I chronicle the different ways in which I leaned into my creativity and why I made those changes.
I wanted to challenge my own notion of what I can and cannot do, so I started […]