Thursday, January 19, 2017

I don't breathe oxygen, I breathe words

Cause writing is in my soul.


When I started kindergarten, I didn't much like any stuff having to do with English. I actually didn't know English very well; Chinese and Taiwanese were my first languages and what I spoke at home. So why would I like anything to do with English? It was difficult.


Then I started learning to read. It was hard at first, but after I got over an initial stumbling block, I progressed quickly.


I started going over to the school library during my free time, probably during lunch. I don't remember anyone telling or encouraging me to do this. I just did it. I was like a moth drawn to a flame.


I was so little. Maybe in first grade? I would pick out picture books with words and read them to myself. Sometimes I came across words I didn't know and couldn't sound out. But I didn't mind the difficulty. I liked reading.


I read a lot when I was young. Maybe part of it was because I didn't have many friends, so reading filled something up. But I think that even if I did have a lot of friends, I would have been drawn to reading anyway.


I think I was just born to read. I really can't explain it. Sometimes, I can read any kind of text - technical, boring text - and still find this soothing and relaxing. I just DO it.


But actually, as an adult, I rarely read for fun anymore. I'm really picky. But I do like many children's books still. I like the moral messages behind them. I have to read stuff that's purposeful and written with a good moral message in mind, I guess. 


Anyway, writing is the cousin to reading. If I find myself reading because I just DO it...I find myself writing because I just DO it too.


Let me explain. I think in sentences. Not as in, I think with proper grammar, but as in, with something I construct out of words. That's how my thoughts roll. Not all the time, but sometimes. Is that weird? 


I just have to, like, construct sentences and put words together. I HAVE to do it.


So that's the most basic, primitive, instinctual reason I write: I just do.


So, when I was very young, maybe starting around second grade or so...I would just get this...itch...this urge...to write stories. I HAD to do it. I had to draw pictures and write words to go with them and make books. I did this for fun on weekends. It didn't matter what the story was; I just had to write and create something. It felt like the most exciting thing ever. 


So that's some of the roots of writing for me and how writing for me started.


When I write...


Doesn't matter what it is...


A polished piece of writing that's worthy of being paid for. A blog post. A technical manual or a law essay. A hastily scribbled journal entry.  


I'm not just getting out my soul. I'm not just expressing it.


I'm actually adding to my soul each time. There's a little bit more in me, way deep in me, that wasn't there before.

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