Writing Is A Part of Me. What’s A Part of You?

Credit to: gregoryhogan

While college was winding down, I eventually took a Creative Writing 101 course to fulfill a general requirement to graduate. I hadn’t really wanted to take it, but for reasons that have forsaken me, I did. So many girls at my single sex college were aspiring writers that it was difficult to throw a stick and not hit someone working on their first novel. It had been unusual for me, since I rarely shared my interest in writing. I remember being in 8th grade, and hitting my first fifty pages in the book I was creating. Then, when I was sixteen, I had finally cracked over 150 pages for another novel I was writing.

So you would think I’d be in heaven, attending a school well known for its English/Creative Writing program (admittedly – when I was 18, I had initially applied specifically for that reason). Not exactly. The second, and last, creative writing class I took involved an incompetent graduate student “professor” and a class totaling almost twenty people. Not exactly conducive to in-depth analyses of each other’s work – or anythingrather.

But, this isn’t about me riffing on my alma mater, or my poor experiences with graduate students masquerading as English professors – this is about me never talking to other people about the fact that I love to write. My family knew I liked it, my other writer friends knew it – but I didn’t stamp it on my forehead, or wear it like a proud identity. For the longest (even now), I believed in keeping passions a secret. I didn’t mind – and often times relished! – talking to people about things that annoyed me, or criticizing various habits I witnessed around me. Conversely, I fell into the camp of lamenting my lack of skill in other areas: like math and science that fascinated, but inevitably, eluded me.

The fact that I enjoyed writing seemed mostly buried deep within me, sometimes to the point where I forgot that I even LIKED to write. I remember a hiatus I had taken from writing unintentionally, mind you, but when I had finally written a story it felt nearly orgasmic! It was like pieces of me were being unlocked, and I had connected to something deeper. A part that was me. I think about this moment a lot – this feeling that writing is such an integral part of me.

If I’m being honest – I do feel pangs of intense jealousy and over-protectiveness about writing. I turn my nose up at fan fiction, and lament aspiring creators who attend expensive graduate programs just to be told to use less adverbs. I get prickly when someone compliments someone else’s work but not mine. But then my ego explodes when someone remarks on how talented I am, basking in one of the few instances of praise I receive.

It’s difficult for me to talk about what writing means to me in person, how defensive of it I am. Little by little, though, I get to share what I love with you guys!

So tell me, what do you love (but keep to yourself)?

Exploring My Love of Photography

In college, a girl I knew had been gifted with a $2,000 dollar camera.

Envy coupled with physical nausea tightened my stomach as I imagined all the great images she’d take with it. Of course, an expensive camera would have significantly more specs, giving you more options to switch up the lens, use different apertures and so on.

So, in order to squelch some of the equipment envy, I popped over to Target to check out some of their stuff. As I played with the more expensive, but complicated, cameras – I realized how grateful I was to have a nice, beginner’s Nikon. Learning photography is just as much about skill as it is a creative art, and even just playing with the cameras, I felt overwhelmed with the heft and abundance of options. As I left Target, I felt a certain relief at my more compact Nikon.

Admittedly, I was shocked at how intensely and quickly I took to photography. While I haven’t devoured every piece of literature I could find (since I’m not entirely sure where to even begin looking!), I DO get rather excited about finding photography websites, magazines in B&N and discovering that other people are also interested in it! A huge part of me is eager to become more proficient, and have extensive portfolios with a wide variety of photos I’ve taken from all over.

Thinking back on it – my love for photography has always been there. The header I use on my blog is a photo I took while studying in Paris, and when I lived in Seattle, I asked my roommate for his opinions on the photos I took.

With photography, I get to explore a different aspect of being creative. I like the immediacy of it, how I can carry my camera with me wherever I go. And the potential of seeing something beautiful, and being able to carry it with me wherever I go, is always there.

Each time I look at my camera, I sigh longingly. Sometimes I just want to spend all day out, snapping photographs – particularly in the city – and play around with the images when I get home. I’m thankful that my camera is so small, so that I can do that. I’m grateful that my camera is for beginners so I can focus on my love for photography versus trying to master all the tiny doodads. Starting out both simple and small has been impressively freeing.

 

 

So what about you? Have you discovered any new hobbies that made you happy? Or didn’t even realize you loved until you actually started doing it?

Disclaimer: All these photos I took myself! If you want to re-use/reblog, please let me know! Thanks!