Through the years, I continued to dabble in writing. I wrote an essay as a senior in high school on Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy. It probably wasn’t great, but encouragement from the teacher did much to keep me writing. Isn't it funny how we remember significant first events? Throughout my college years, which came in three waves, I always felt that writing presented the most significant form of learning, and I always took those assignments seriously, even if I complained about them.
Then, of course, there were the love poems. Some good, some bad, but they always scored me points. However, I did know that when I wrote them, I felt free. I felt significant. During all of my growing up years, I often heard my mom tell me to live to the dictates of my heart. Now, I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but I do know that when I wrote poetry, I felt like that was the closest thing to such a concept. I continued writing in a pastoral capacity, and it was well-received. Then, once again, I moved on.
Only now, it was for the advanced expository writing class that I was taking, having returned to college. I liked that class, learning more technical skills and reading more professional examples. My professor encouraged me to keep writing and suggested I should take a writing course for teachers. She believed that I would be a good English teacher. And I was. I had to write rather copiously for an English degree that included many hours of literature classes. In those classes, I learned how literature can help readers to view the world and self in relation to the world, and I enjoyed the hard work of writing because I felt energized and significant when I wrote.
Three degrees, including a masters, equipped me to teach for seventeen years, but my heart was speaking to me throughout that time. I loved my students and our time together; I learned much from them. My desire to help them learn drove me to write even more—to write clear instructions, to write with them on the assignments, to publish with them, too, when it was appropriate and time allowed. One of my articles from my master’s program was published in Democracy and Education based on my work with my colleagues in leading teacher study groups. My heart, however, was no nonsense; I needed to pursue discovery and extend my teaching in the context of writing, creative writing, so I resigned. Had I not, I would not now have a novel and a volume of poetry, with a second of each in progress.
Through five blog entries, I have presented my personal writing odyssey. My first novel—working towards a May 2016 release—concerns self-awakening that occurs through listening to and fellowshipping with one’s own heart. We can learn much from one another, much that helps us in our own journey—things such as the part childhood voices and memories play in our development; things such as listening to our hearts and moving towards those promptings; things like allowing ourselves to continue moving forward. I hope for each of us that we do just that: move forward in response to the voice of our hearts in passion, purpose, and significance.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!