Cleaned the kitchen, washed some towels, hung the bird feeder, did some weeding – and now there’s just one more item on my to-do list: “write.” There it is in plain black ink: I have to write today.
More specifically, I really need to write a post for you. It has been FAR too long since my last entry, and I apologize for that. I could make a range of excuses (just moved, new job, writing for a local publication, homesick for Minneapolis), but I won’t. The real reason I haven’t been writing is simple: I haven’t been making time for it. So what does my personality type do in a situation like this? Put it on a to-do list.
And actually, I have something exciting to share. On a recent plane ride, as I sat between the window and my new friend Paul, ideas of writing started filling my head. I politely cut Paul’s “When I was in the Air Force” conversation short, picked up my weapon of choice (a pen) and semi-clean sheet of paper and wrote this:
“I am currently high over the US on a plane bound for DC. I don’t have access to my computer, so this note paper will have to do. I’m bursting with excitement and ideas at the moment. Which is probably due to numerous things: 1. I had a lot of caffeine and a cold slice of pizza for breakfast 2. I just skimmed through an issue of Fast Company and was utterly inspired by all the social innovation out there and 3. I recently decided to start a journaling and creative writing class with my friend Dani.
The best part of this soon-to-be writing class? We’re offering it at the local YWCA women’s shelter in Fargo. And if there’s anything that gets me going, it’s the philanthropic process. Add writing to that and BAM! Instant excitement in Lauren’s world.
So far, Dani and I have brainstormed a few ideas of class topics (creating characters, composing poetry, developing short stories, writing fairy tales with your kids, etc.), but some of the ideas I’m most looking forward to trying out are the ones that involve collaboration. I know “teamwork” is a common trait among my generation, but I fully believe in working together. Why not tap into resources and create connections to do even more good?
Speaking of, I can’t wait to collaborate with local musician and writer Diane Miller. She is incredibly talented and graciously agreed to be a guest at our class. We’re hoping she’ll walk us through the elements of songwriting and help us create amazing jams like this one of hers. She has a brilliant mind and a heart for helping – I’m thrilled that our paths have crossed in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
My in-flight daydreaming also led to the eventual creation of a nonprofit that empowers girls through writing. I haven’t done a lot of research on what’s already out there, but as far as I know, there isn’t an existing nonprofit doing this work. But hey, if there is, let’s join forces and get even more good stuff done (there’s that teamwork again)!
The more I think about this concept, the more I’m getting excited. From my own experience, I know that writing can be such a therapeutic process, especially is times of trial. Not only that, but to call someone a “writer” is an empowering experience. I’ve kept journals for as long as I can remember, written papers for class, articles for publications, and I never thought to call myself a writer. But once someone else defines you in that way, believing it slowly becomes easier. I want to be that person in young girls lives. I want to help them recognize their emotions and put them on paper. I want them to feel like their stories are worth writing down. I want them to feel like writers. Everyone wants this recognition, don’t they? People want to be heard, they want their life story to mean something, to affect others.
Every big idea has to start somewhere, so this upcoming writing class will be a great experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m slightly terrified. What if no shows up? What if I can’t actually teach writing? What if no one feels inspired? But that’s the best part of giving back and putting yourself out there. Not only am I hoping the ladies in our class will gain something from the writing process, but I have a feeling that my future students will also help me realize my own writing aspirations.”
So if you’re reading and you have ideas, feedback or (constructive) criticism – let me know! I’d love to hear from you and make this next adventure even better.