Jul 29, 2009

Finding Direction

arrows by katie kirkSo I've been telling stories for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I was known for telling tall tales. Not fibbing, but making up people and creatures with elaborate back stories. I had imaginary friends and pet unicorns and a long lost twin sister who lived in California. Imagination, I had in spades.

The natural outlet for this was drawing pictures. Because I didn't know how to read or write (I was 3 or 4), stick figures drawn in crayon became my own personal language to tell all the stories I had stored up in my head. I'm not sure they made sense to anyone but me, but my mom saw TALENT! (she's my mom—I guess she can be forgiven for her lack of an eye for art, at least when it comes to me) and started putting my drawings in contests, and eventually, she put me in art classes.

I always had tons of notebooks filled with my drawings and my stories. I had an unnatural attachment to those notebooks. I still remember in 3rd grade when my mom made me throw out all of my old notebooks, and how I cried at having to give them up. Telling stories was irresistible, and telling them to other people was even more important. (I've always been a bit of a ham for an audience.) Writing, and by turns the art that I did which was another way of telling stories for me, have probably been the biggest and most consistent passions in my life.

It's not really surprising that in middle school, I started doing web design and publishing my novels (I wrote about 5 before I finished high school) on the internet. It was a logical outlet for the things I've been doing pretty much since I figured out how to talk and hold a crayon. And it's not surprising that no matter what other interests I picked up as I got older, I always came back to writing and art and web design. These are the things I do. These are the things I've always done. They are as much a part of me as my brown eyes or my short, stubby fingers or the scar on my right knee from a bicycle accident when I was 9.

When I get caught up in my worries about what I'm going to be when I grow up, when I get discouraged about finding my niche, when I feel like I'm without direction...I remind myself of the things I've been doing, and loved doing, all my life. I remember the things I knew I loved even before I realized there was supposed to be something in this world to love.

I feel like I often over-complicate what is a fairly simple question: what do I want to do? The answer should be: what I like doing. The specifics are more complicated, obviously, and less knowable, but when I feel overwhelmed, I'm just going to keep reminding myself of me at 4 years old, sitting on my mom's bed, drawing my stories out on paper.

6 comments:

  1. I always have these questions lingering in the back of my head too, and I think you really can make it as a writer. Reading your blog is not purely reading but I also enjoy how you string words together :)

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  2. Believe in yourself. I've been to that place once, too, when I lost direction and struggled to get back. Writing--or in this case, blog therapy--helped me out. So, don't stop doing what you love.

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