My Relationship with Writing: Part One of a Writing Log Series. (For ENGL 2060)

Bethany Herold

Professor Egger

ENGL 2060 E01

28 August 2015

Writing Log #1: My Relationship with Writing

“Go to your room!” my dad shouted. My ten year old arms crossed in defiance as I stomped off towards my bedroom, head held high. “You are not to come out until you have written me a paper explaining what you have done wrong, why it is wrong, and what you can do better next time,” he added. I slammed the door in response, and proceed to sit proudly on the foot of my bed for at least fifteen minutes. It didn’t take long for my protest to wear on me, and I reluctantly let my eyes settle on the imitation hickory writing desk angled beside the bedroom window. Various pens and pencils were placed intentionally in their holders, and a spiral bound notebook clad with a Garfield cover was laid directly in the center. I sighed as I sunk into the chair. My dad was not one to make idle threats, and expository writing assignments in lieu of conventional punishments were a favorite of his. At the time I loathed it, but looking back nearly fifteen years later, I see how moments like these planted seeds of intrigue in my life for the artistry of writing.

Exercises like these-and I use that term lightly-became vessels through which I could articulate difficult thoughts and emotions. It provided me with an awareness of focus, a sense of clarity, and ultimately, this feeling of being heard. After I spent my allotted time for resistance, I was forced to stare at the empty spaces between the light-blue lines until I picked up my writing utensil of choice and poured my thoughts onto paper. Even at that age, I knew writing required far more awareness and reflection than speaking. Like a window into my soul, all my thoughts were neatly organized and placed into a precise order, making even my irrational sentiments perpetuate some form of meaning. By the time I turned in my punishment papers, I not only had time to reflect properly on my wrongdoings, I also had also grown as a both a creative writer and critical thinker.

Throughout the rest of my primary education, I reveled in writing and the humanities. I wrote creatively on the side, and often found myself conjuring up stories in my head. The Lord alone knows how many hours I passed reading, and I will never regret a minute of my life spent nose deep in a novel of quality. I was below par in math, and mediocre when it came to the sciences, but massive reading and writing assignments were sources of pure joy. After graduation, I was hesitant about college primarily due to the fear of choosing the wrong major. Every decision seemed so finite then. I raced towards the arts, something I have always enjoyed, and tried my hand at studying acting and theater. Unfortunately, my stay in Los Angeles came to an abrupt end, brought upon by personal and financial afflictions, and so did my blossoming acting career. Defeated, I threw myself into a college education with hopes of gaining an elementary teaching degree. My heart wasn’t in it though, and that flame was quick to fizzle out. I felt hopeless for quite some time, distracting myself through other means and refusing to associate with any of my passions. Music, acting, and writing all became sources of shame. The things I once loved laid broken at my feet with my dreams.

The following January brought about some personal awakenings, and without going into much detail-for that is entirely an anecdote of it’s own-I realized all of my passions centered around this concept of self-expression and discovery. I loved acting for its ability to tell stories, and music for its manifestation of feelings. Writing, something I had loved all along, was able to encompass both of these qualities, and then some. Even if it didn’t make me rich or famous, I wanted further education as a writer. Words are a mere embodiment of a life, and I adore the follow quote by Mark Twain from his beloved A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: “Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself. She gave that look, and carried it away to the treasury of heaven, where all things that are divine belong.” I adore it so much, in fact, it’s the title of this blog. How powerful it is to craft something that can accurately represent that fire, and carry on its meaning for generations to come. I don’t know where this adventure will take me in the end, but what I gain along the way will only help me grow as an individual. If I can benefit anyone through my writing, no matter how small, it will have done its purpose. So thank you for your inventive punishments, Dad. May their lessons impact me forever.


One thought on “My Relationship with Writing: Part One of a Writing Log Series. (For ENGL 2060)

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  1. Bethany you are an eloquent writer. You pulled me in and I could not stop reading , wondering what was ahead. God has given you a gift. May you use it for His glory. I can’t wait to read the next blog. I love you very much

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