I Write To Live What I Normally Don’t

“I Write To Live What I Normally Don’t”

Writing is without a doubt an art that can be quite personal. But then again, artful things normally are to some degree always personal. This being the case we can assume we all write for different reasons. For me, I feel that my reasons for writing are connected to my personal interests and life goals.

My first and most reason to write, and why I write, is simply because I like writing. It is a personal interest that brings me great joy in various ways, as well as being part of my character (as an individual). But what I mean by “interest” is more or less related to the fact that I always get some sort of benefit from doing this activity. One way this happens, for example, is how come to feel emotionally fulfilled after a writing project or work. Some might think that my feelings of fulfillment as due to me completing the work, but I can argue otherwise. Using the example of a recent writing project I worked on, this feeling I feel can be better explained. A few months ago, I finished working on a long-coming writing project (a short story) which I had planned and worked for the while. Since I take great pleasure in writing creatively (creative writing), I planned this piece with great interest. I remember coming up with the story one day, with the primary goal of focusing it on adventure and traveling. And so, I brained-stormed all kinds of ideas until I came up with an outline or overview for my final desired project. Even though I put aside for a while, and didn’t work on it, this long-coming project was still at the back of my mind. Then I had the opportunity to truly work on it (like a writing marathon). Each time, I thought creatively, crafted scenes and moment for events in the story, developed characters, worked on keeping a strong story arc, and brain-stormed even more ideas.

During this time, I thought, I felt, and I truly dreamed of me being caught up in this work. I wasn’t just writing it, I was LIVING IT. Some may say that this is foolish, but it is not for me because writing means this for me (escaping my everyday reality, to immerse myself deeply into another world). I worked on it by writing everyday every since that start-up moment, and continued doing so until the project was completed. In the end, after having completed the work, I thought back on why I felt so fulfilled. And yes, I guess part of such feeling came from having completed the work (maybe like 10% or so), but the rest was because of the journey I followed when writing (90% or more). And this is how I feel each time I write. I is a way for me to escape into another world, and way for experience events, activities, and moments which I normally don’t in my everyday life. And this is partly the reason why I write, and what my writing is mostly focused on when I write creatively. The only time I don’t do so, is when writing for specific projects are that are required from me (some school or work projects, e.g..), which don’t revolve around writing creatively.

My second most important reason to why I write is because it is connected to my career and life-goal. Truth is, since I enjoy this art (as we might call it), I would someday like to be an educator of it. Writing is more than just a art, it is a skill, a way of expressing your most-inner thoughts and feelings, and so much more. If you are a bad communicator (speaker, in this case), like I am, writing is your other choice for speaking your souls out to the world, or even to yourself. This alone is a reason worth appraising and sharing with others. This is partly why the idea of becoming an educator of writing is fascinating to me. It is just part of who I am and of my persona, at least at this very moment.

Why I write I do it because of the reasons I’ve mentioned above. And I truly mean when I say “I write”. This is when I write out of personal desire and interest, and NOT so much when I am forced to, as the example of writing in a certain way that I wouldn’t normally do (certain school or work projects that take away your freedom to writing, ideas, voice, ect..).

Peace and Quiet

My thoughts twirl around in my head. I replay the day’s conversations in my head. I think and re-think issues. I analyze and over-analyze conversations. I create mental to-do lists. I talk to myself. I talk in my sleep. I am always inside my head. Writing is my release. If I do not write, I feel that my brain will explode with my thoughts and my fears. I write primarily for myself. Through writing, I heal myself. I also enjoy the physicality of writing: the joy of holding a pen and writing on a blank sheet of paper. Writing is a mental and physical release. In a way, writing is therapy in that a writer can share her most private thoughts to a trusted friend; and this trusted friend will not divulge the writer’s vulnerabilities and insecurities. Writing is my friend.

Why Do I Write?

Writing is the best outlet for ones emotions. No matter what the emotion is (happy, sad, angry, jealous, inspired, etc.) writing is a form of therapy. A vehicle to channel your feelings and energy to something you care to share, whether that is something you share with others, or simply a way for you to release those thoughts and reflect on those feelings by yourself. This is why I write. I use writing in a way that allows me both escape and confront elements of my daily life. As an aspiring comedian, this dynamic is allowed to flourish. Acting as a means for me to constructively let out my thoughts and frustrations with a creative element which I find to be fun and challenging. My writing is not always done a comedic context, however. Although I jot down ideas and thoughts I have through out the day with the purpose of adding a comedic element, it feels nice to simply express my feelings on a particular thought. I may never use those notes for a bit that I perform on stage, but I still have a feeling of relief and calmness whenever I write these things down. For me, the most important thing is get those thoughts and feeling out, and stand up comedy allows me to do it in a constructive, creative manner in which I feel like I am offering something to the local comedy community. Considering that my writing is inherently limited by this, however, I am looking forward to broadening my horizons and writing in other capacities that we will go over in our studies in the English and Writing Studies program here at Kean University.

Starting graduate school gives the the same sort of feeling, especially pursuing a degree in writing. I am both excited and nervous with the semester starting to get into full swing. Personally, coming from a background in finance, banking, and insurance, I am still getting used to studying English. Naturally, it is already much more pure reading as opposed to working through problems out of the textbook and keeping up with how the markets fluctuate on a daily basis. This new opportunity excites me because of the nature of what I am studying: writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and my stand-up aspirations have aided me in finding a way to channel my desire into something meaningful. I view the graduate program in English and Writing as way for me to refine and expand my possible avenues for this type of expression. One more aspect of my life I am hoping to refine is the overall structure. Working for so long for a company and an industry that you do not have a passion for is one of the more difficult things that I’ve ever had to do. Personally, I have found it rather difficult to put my all into something that I do not enjoy. To me, being able to give such a large part of me to my Masters degree in something that truly excites me is an absolute dream come true to me at this point. Even more important is that it has given me something to strive for professionally. My hope and overall go is to use my experience of going through this program as the foundation of my larger goal of obtaining a PhD in Writing and Rhetoric so I can become a college professor. With that in mind, I am excited to immerse myself into the program and it’s content and structure to help me achieve my ultimate goal. Finally, at the end of the day, graduate school is a new challenge for me to test myself in my reading, writing, and critical thinking abilities. To this point, I have also enjoyed meeting the other students in the program. Everyone seems so determined and driven. I believe this is the foundation for a great co-learning experience. With everyone’s backgrounds being so diverse, it is in my opinion that we will all encourage each other to be bold in addition to allowing all of us to learn something about each other and our uniquely diverse walks of life. Writing, after all, is about communication. What better way to illustrate that then to communicate your ideas and perspective to a group of like minded individuals.

Why I write and why I decided to go to graduate school could both be answered the same way; I want to find something that brings me a feeling of fulfillment. Whether it be in a performing capacity or in a more traditional, academic setting, I look forward to pushing the limits of my writing, thinking, and creative abilities. I am also believe that having the opportunity to explore all different types of writing will help me grow as a person since I will be exposed to all types of written expression. Graduate school is not a challenge I take likely, but it is certainly a challenge that I am ready to take on with all of my effort and energy. I know in the end, if I apply myself, and can accomplish each of the goals I have set within this program.

Why do I write?

Writing for me has changed throughout the years and I find that there’s a divide in between the reasons why I write. On one hand I write on a daily basis because it is required of me. Since starting school I’ve had to write for various reasons. I either had to write an essay, a narrative, research paper etc. I remember the long nights I use to sit in my room or at a table staring at my computer trying to force thoughts to the front of my brain so I could either start or finish a paper. Now as a professional I need to write reports, emails, lesson plans etc. I spend my time pouring over lesson plans and over student work and writing comments. Some of my days are just a constant stream of going through and replying to emails trying to sound as professional as I can even when I’m absolutely frustrated.

But on the other hand in my personal time I write to express myself, to organize my thoughts and sometimes even for fun. While academic and professional writing has so many standards and structure, (mostly for the best) my personal writing is the complete opposite. My personal writing is free, it’s sloppy and sometimes all over the place. I could be sitting down or walking somewhere and a thought comes to me and I just throw the words down quickly on a page and then struggle later to figure out what the hell I was talking about. Sometimes my writing is focused, I have a goal in mind I know what I want to say and how I want to say it and I just write. Or sometimes I have a faint idea and I just let my thoughts tumble out onto the pages. The above quote hold so much truth for me. There are thousands of thought swirling and storming around in my head, sometimes I can make sense of them but most of the time I can’t. But there are times when I’m able to write and a sense of calm comes over and I can begin to make sense of the many thoughts and ideas in my head once I have them out on paper.

I’m hoping that gaining a master’s degree in English Writing will allow me to cultivate my writing skills in both areas as well as looking to gain more experience in teaching writing. I’m very eager to learn about the writing theories and how I can put them effectively into practice within my own classroom. In addition to building my writing skills I would also like to see if I could possibly bride the gap between my personal and professional writing. While I know to some degree the two may always be separate, I’d like to find a balance that would allow me to occasionally merge them maybe a little more often.

Why Do I Write?

Text Box: Why Do You Write?
Description: Image result for notebook page pen and paper  african american
  • I Write
  • I write for balance
  • To breath refined written words
  • To share in the wind

           Copyright © 2019 Fatima Muhammad

As an adolescent, somewhere around middle school, I learned that I had a voice within my written words.   Whenever I had to express myself in front of people, in school or in church, I was so shy that most people could not hear my voice, even with the use of a microphone.  Then one day I wrote a poem and I found my voice.  And even though I kept my poetry mostly to myself; that was OK, because I heard me!  My new found identity was the start of my love for writing.  I write for several reasons; however there are three reasons that resonate in my heart.  My writing is a gift that balances my breathing and it makes me happy. In addition, I write to improve my writing, because I consider myself a writer in training; with a fear of rejection.  Lastly, I write because I would very much, very, very much, like to utilize my writing to bring happiness and encouragement to myself and others.

It may sound cliche, but it isn’t.  Writing really does balance my breathing and makes me happy.  I feel like I have been blessed with a precious gift.  This gift humbles me and keeps me grateful.  There have been times that my life experiences were a bit of a test and other times my life experiences were filled with joy.  Having the ability to release my feelings and thoughts on paper provides me with balance.   When writing, I find myself in a comfortable spot in the middle of my thoughts.  My heartbeat actually becomes relaxed.  And I smile, like right now as I type, I am actually smiling.  This comment by my classmate, Meagan T. Mentor, sums up my exact feelings.  She states, “I can exhale when I write.”  My fellow writers, when writing, have you experienced these emotions of balance and happiness?  And those of you that consider yourself, not a writer, think of an outstanding event that occurred in your life.  Relive that event in your thoughts.  Now try writing about the event, even if it’s just notes.  Now read what you wrote.   Tell me, how does your heart feel?

Currently, I am a student at Kean University, in the English Writing Studies, M.A. program, under the directorship of Dr. Mia Zamora, Ph.D., program coordinator.  I applied to this program because as I stated, “I write to improve my writing, because I consider myself a writer in training; with a fear of rejection.”  I find that sometimes I’m deep into my writing and I enjoy the creative process. Then other times I am absent from my writing.  During those times I lose the discipline of writing and my skills become dormant.  In order that I may overcome the latter, my goal is to be committed to the writing process that this graduate program offers.  I must develop the discipline needed to improve my skills. It is essential for me to follow the rules, meet deadlines and stay organized.  Even though, I enjoy my writing, too often I let the opportunities of sharing just pass right by me.  I realize that I must take some risks to grow, improve and to get over my fear of rejection.  Until now I wrote at my leisure.  However, now I’m on a schedule.  So I expect that, this schedule, the writing assignments and the writing projects will aid me with improving my writing.  Also, in a recent podcast interview, Dr. Zamora talked about, “Connective, Learning.”  She stated that, “peer support is a component of Connective Learning. There’s knowledge in the room.  And every single person can help you learn.”  I am looking forward to the experience of connective learning.  As I stated, “I kept my poetry mostly to myself.”  In the recent years I have become more willing to share my poetry; however, I realize that I’m in need of an academic support group to aid me in conquering my fear of rejection.  And that’s what I can expect to receive from this graduate program.  My fellow bloggers, may you offer me some advice on how I can to conquer my fear of rejection?

Lastly, I write because I would very much, very, very much, like to utilize my writing to bring happiness and encouragement to myself and others.  Les Brown states, “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.”  Although, I have a goal to improve and increase my writing skills, I also want to share my written words.  As the world evolves, global awareness increases and we become more and more connected.  I feel that this connection creates a global responsibility.  Yes, I believe that we, as a human race, are responsible for each other.  We all have innate skills and talents that can be utilized for self-development, as well as a service to others.  I believe that writing is my innate skill and talent.  I love to write poetry.  When I read my poetry, it makes me happy.  I plan to become a published writer so that I can share my feelings of happiness.  I love using words to encourage myself and others. Think about it, no matter where we reside throughout the world, our basic needs are the same. I can employ my written words to travel throughout the globe to fulfill these two basic needs: happiness and encouragement.

To my non-writers, here’s a fun poetic task for you.  Think of at least 3 to 5 words of happiness and at least 3 to 5 words of encouragement that can be utilize to help society.  Next use those words to form sentences. Use each word in its own sentence.  Use descriptive and emotional words in your sentences.  Try rhyming the sentences.  There’s no pressure.  Take your time with it.  Now read your poetic masterpiece. Do you feel happy and encouraged?  I’m sure you do.  Now you may share your happy and encouraging words with others. You are a poet and you didn’t know!  This is one of the reasons why I write!

Why I write…

A moment of inspiration is like awakening from a dream, and almost simultaneously upon passing between the oneiric and the lucid world, it becomes lost. The meaning, the context, the nuance, and even the vision itself of your idea, is all gone. Perhaps when we write down our dreams or our thoughts in as much detail as we can hold onto in those crucial but fleeting moments, do we come back later only to find words we cannot decipher though they be our own. But there still exists the chance to reawaken that moment, and to catch wind of that inspiration again. Without at least this, all would be lost, else it would be so much less than it could be.

Writing to interpret is my modus operandi as a writer. I do so to help myself reach a place within myself, an unspoken and unnamed core of my humanity. In so many authors is so much truth; a truth of their own which speaks only to them but that can be reflected in the reader. I believe that art is the human spirit made real, and that there is much to glean from interpreting the essence of another person’s spirit. When an author speaks to their reality, their structures from within are laid without, and it is a fascinating thing to visit those places to try to understand oneself better. There is a satisfaction that I feel unlike any other when the spirit that I have struggled to reach within myself becomes visible and comprehensible to me vis-à-vis my writerly endeavors. I love music but I could never write about it. I love film but perhaps only nominally more than music could I write about it. But of literature I feel that I can write about it, whether my voice would be lauded or condemned, it is the medium which allows my spirit to manifest.

Why I write…

A moment of inspiration is like awakening from a dream, and almost simultaneously upon passing between the oneiric and the lucid world, it becomes lost. The meaning, the context, the nuance, and even the vision itself of your idea, is all gone. Perhaps when we write down our dreams or our thoughts in as much detail as we can hold onto in those crucial but fleeting moments, do we come back later only to find words we cannot decipher though they be our own. But there still exists the chance to reawaken that moment, and to catch wind of that inspiration again. Without at least this, all would be lost, else it would be so much less than it could be.

Writing to interpret is my modus operandi as a writer. I do so to help myself reach a place within myself, an unspoken and unnamed core of my humanity. In so many authors is so much truth; a truth of their own which speaks only to them but that can be reflected in the reader. I believe that art is the human spirit made real, and that there is much to glean from interpreting the essence of another person’s spirit. When an author speaks to their reality, their structures from within are laid without, and it is a fascinating thing to visit those places to try to understand oneself better. There is a satisfaction that I feel unlike any other when the spirit that I have struggled to reach within myself becomes visible and comprehensible to me vis-à-vis my writerly endeavors. I love music but I could never write about it. I love film but perhaps only nominally more than music could I write about it. But of literature I feel that I can write about it, whether my voice would be lauded or condemned, it is the medium which allows my spirit to manifest.

Why do I write?

When someone ask you a simple(basic) question, you can more than likely answer. How come when the word ‘why’ is attached it seems as if this might be the hardest question in the world. The word ‘why’ can add such unnecessary pressure making you feel as if you’re on a game show and you need a cheat sheet or a few life lines.

Why do I write? That’s an interesting question. If only I had an interesting answer. Maybe I should be poetic.

To write or not to write. Tis but a noble act, a sheer vice of wisdom. The ease to my agony. The escape of an unfortunate burden. The joy to my almond. Thy release of fear through pen to paper. The rhythm of the melodic keys to my black board. Ah, Shakespeare is probably peeing in his pants of utter ridiculousness.

Why do I write? That’s an interesting question. If only I had an interesting answer. Maybe it’s a necessity.

There are many things in this lifetime that are necessary to our existence. Air and water are a few items coming to mind. Some may say ice cream and/or chocolate.

Why do I write? That’s an interesting question. If only I had an interesting answer. Maybe because I feel lost or incomplete.

As a child, my mom was never a fan of sharing her office items. Therefore, I always had my own notebooks and colorful pens/pencils. When you get that new notebook and you open to the first crisp page, it almost looks to good to touch but you do. Next you search for the best pen color and to gently brush upon the page. Imagine me, probably seven years old and barely spelling correctly but I was ready to copy or write a message. I learned how to write notes and post them, especially asking my mom for more cookies.

Things seemed right when I was able to write. So, why wouldn’t I write. As I got older, I wrote because I was told to in school. At home, I wrote to escape my insecurities, my world of feeling lost.

Writing is in a way a Shakespearean poem, music to my fingers, a mere necessity for my soul. See, I don’t have an interesting answer. Although,my response may seem all over, I write because it’s me.

I don’t have to write. I choose to write. I don’t have to explain. I choose to share. Writing allows me to ramble to myself and about myself in the most ridiculous ways. Writing means getting it all out or down. Writing helps me sculpt my world into the structure I need to participate in my life. Sometimes I can laugh, cry, get angry through writing.

Why do I write? That’s an interesting question. Here is my interesting answer, I can exhale when I write.

Image result for breathe and write

Why Do I Write?

Asking me why I write is like asking me why I eat chocolate, breathe, drink coffee, binge watch Bravo reality tv, and skip the gym, well because I just have to! Its something innate within me. It comes naturally to me. Oh and lets not forget my obsession of becoming the next Carrie Bradshaw with my very own sex and dating column! Its a healthy obsession I swear! Growing up I was never a Math or Science person and I realized that fact pretty early on. Instead I found myself to have a real deep love for reading and writing. Helping to feed this love of mine was my mother. A Italian immigrant who had very little education and a very thick accent that I just loved, who would religiously read to me every single night before bed. Some of our favorites were the Bernstein Bears, Max and Ruby and anything by R.L. Stine. As I got older I began to read books all on my own it became one of my favorite past times right after playing with Barbie and house with my other dolls. From the Babysitters Club collection to every single Goosebumps book I could get my hands on. Weekly trips to Barnes and Noble was a thing at my house and I enjoyed every minute of it. I know in my heart that my love for reading is what fueled my future love of writing. I’m so thankful to my mother for dedicating her time to read to me because without her I don’t think my writing would have blossomed. Once I entered High School one of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Benedetti who taught English Literature. She was encouraging and kind and you could tell she really had a passion for literature and what she was teaching. This is when my first taste of what a real writing class was all about. We were given summer journals to keep and specific books we had to read and journal about throughout our summer break. The books that stood out to me were: The Great Gatsby, House on Mango Street, The Little Prince and The Diary of Anne Frank. These amazing stories took me to places in my imagination that I had never known. I can still vividly see myself reading on my back porch, on the floor in my room on those hot summer days and journaling my little heart out. That was over 20 years ago, yet I remember it and still feel it as if it was yesterday.

After I graduated real life tends to hit you in the face and college life begins. Throughout my early years in college my love for reading and writing just carried over. I got excellent grades and even had professors pull me aside to compliment my writing even encouraging me to tutor others. I was so very proud of myself. I felt confident and empowered. I knew that writing was my thing. So I guess one could say that I write because I’m good at it, it was important to me at a early age and it comes natural to me. But once I became an adult writing took on a whole new meaning for me. It became my catharsis. I went through a heart wrenching break up. He was my first love and I thought my only one true love. Of course I did not take the break up very well. There was a lot of lies and betrayal involved and my little fragile 20 something year old heart was crushed. I didn’t even know how or if I could ever pick up all the pieces. I was riddled with horrible anxiety and self doubt. This awful time changed the course of my life. I made poor decisions and acted on impulse because I was in so much emotional pain. It took me almost 2 years to completely heal and become whole again. Throughout that healing process, besides listening to Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill on repeat while crying my eyes out until I fell asleep, writing and journaling through the pain saved me. It was life changing to be able to take my spinning, sad and hopeless thoughts out of my head and onto paper. The physical act alone of just picking up a pen and putting it to paper helped ease my mind and in time helped ease my soul. Getting those troubled feelings and thoughts onto the paper helped me to release them from my head. The more I journaled the better I felt. I was able to put things in perspective and to regain control of my emotions. Healing from any kind of loss takes time. And it certainly was a long and hard process for me. But I did it. And writing always had my back and helped me to find my way again. After that time had passed and my love lost became a more distant memory, I stopped journaling. But I always know that I can pick up that pen and paper and start to release any thoughts or feelings that may be troubling me. I realize now which I didn’t then is that I can also write about the triumphs in my life! That can be just as important as writing about your failures and hardships. Why not celebrate yourself!? I know I have come far and I deserve to write it out and give myself a pat on the back.

So far my thoughts on starting graduate school are all positive ones! I really enjoy each and every class so far and my professors are all amazing and passionate about what they teach which makes it all the more fun and exciting. My classmates all seem really cool and I feel connected to them already just for the fact that we are all in this together and reaching for the same goals and dreams. Lets be real lovers of writing and reading are my kinda people! I was anxious and worried about walking into my very first class and not understanding a word of what was being said about the subject matter. I told my best friends and family that was my biggest fear that the professor would start talking and I would just hear the voice of the Peanuts Charlie Brown teacher and not have a clue of what was going on! But my fears tried to get the best of me but were quickly shot down! I clearly understand the subject matter so far.. phew! So I guess half the battle is done!? Right? I hope, I pray! I know in my heart that I can do this even though I know it will be challenging. I believe in my abilities and even if I stumble and my self doubt gets the best of me, I have my family and friends who will never let me give up. But they don’t have to worry because I’ll never give up on myself ever again. Remember I’m a 10 year college drop out who dropped back in at the age of 34 and graduated at the age of 36 with Magna Cum Laude honors! I never in my wildest dreams thought that was possible. And to be here writing my very first blog reflecting on my feelings about graduate school is still kind of surreal to me. How did I get here? Sometimes I’m not really sure myself. But I guess I can pull out those old journals to help me see how I made it along the way. Xo

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