Writing & The Big Why


I have always loved writing. As a kid, I had countless diaries and journals, including the super high tech Password Journal. I thought it was super cool until I opened it to find a small pad of paper for the journal and felt ripped off. 

downloadAnybody remember these? I thought I was the coolest girl with this gadget. I’ve also always loved tech. With this journal, I thought I was like Tony Stark, without knowing who he actually was or that he had gadgets that blew my little password journal out of the water. Also, since my little password journal was a gadget made in the ’90s and did not have Jarvis protecting it, my friends could mimic my voice and still could break into it about half the time. It also came with a backup key. Jarvis didn’t have a backup key. I digress.

Aside from my journals, I used to make up stories. I would play pretend with my friends and we would make up some pretty good stuff. The difference is that I never would write this stuff down. I didn’t know I needed to. As a kid, I watched a lot of movies. A LOT. I would get all my friends together and try and convince them that we could make a movie and I would try to cast parts and script it all out on the fly. All of this I should have written down and I wish someone had just handed me a notebook at this point because I would love to know what 9-year-old Ashleigh was thinking. We had fun though. All this pretend playing. Granted, I ripped off worlds, like Hogwarts and the bus from the movie Speed. Everything else though, I changed. I don’t remember exactly how I changed it but we had trees instead of underground tunnels so things were definitely different. The crazy part is that despite all the books I read, in between all the movie watching and pretend movie making I did in my neighborhood, it never occurred to me that writing was a career. I know nine-year-olds aren’t concerned with careers or big life plans. Even as a kid though, people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I always said lawyer. I have no idea where the desire came from, but it was something I decided when I was five and it took a long time to move on from that one.

Aside from making up stories, I used to lie a lot. The worst part about it, is I never lied to get myself out of trouble or to like cover my butt. I lied to make myself sound cooler. I lied to try and be something that I wasn’t. I was really just making up more stories. I feel like if any adult had just been paying any sort of attention in my life and put me in a writing class as a kid, I could have known my love of writing a lot earlier instead of being an adult and just now figuring it out.

Writing is opening the door to infinite possibilities. There are so many types of writing: poetry, nonfiction, fiction, short stories, novels, novella, essays, journaling, each with their own set of possibilities. You are limitless in your options. You are truly in charge and can go wherever your heart leads and wherever the wind took you.

Writing allows you to look at things differently. You can change your perspective, change the order of events, you could technically rewrite history and that’s okay. You can do that and it would give you a different outlook on something. Have you ever read a book and walked away from it the same as you were before you started reading it? Probably not. At least, I haven’t. Writing is supposed to challenge you, make you see things differently. Not only is it an opportunity to see things differently, that’s the point. It’s the invitation and the purpose. Writing isn’t about status quo. It’s evolving, changing, and moving forward.

All of that applies to all of the forms of writing I mentioned earlier. Whether you’re journaling or making up your own fantasy world in a fiction novel, writing invites you to do look at things differently. It invites you to lay your heart on the floor. Writing makes you vulnerable, but it also makes you stronger. Writing is full of possibilities and that, my friends, is the big why.

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