You got something on your mind? You got something to say? Let it out! Don’t hold back.
As a kid, I always had a wild imagination and my head was always full of stories itching to come out. My mind has always moved faster then I could write. My pen or my fingers typing could never keep up. Growing up, I also struggled with a form of dyslexia, which caused me to have difficulties with reading and writing. I remember regularly bombing spelling tests, spelling simple words like apple and school wrong.
By middle school age, my writing confidence was basically nonexistent. I remember in 7th grade placing in a writing contest with the local paper and feeling extremely embarrassed. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t understand why or how they would like my writing. It made no sense to me. I remember going to an award ceremony for it and secretly feeling completely out of place.
I will never forget senior year of high school and making the crazy mistake of signing up for a class called Creative Writing. I remember sitting in the classroom the first day of school and listening to the teacher go over the syllabus. I remember her telling us about how we would be keeping a journal and how we would be regularly sharing what we wrote with the class. Well, if you knew me back then you knew in my mind I was screaming, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” I quickly dropped the class in exchange for a business class.
In college, I consumed myself with sports. I was a sports producer at a college radio station. I didn’t go on-air and I definitely didn’t write. I used to tell people that I didn’t know how to write and that it wasn’t my thing. That was a complete lie and deep down I knew that back then.
During that time I never took writing seriously, even with my school assignments. My papers would always have spelling and grammar errors. Honestly, half the problem was laziness. I almost never proofread my work in college. The other half of the problem was confidence. I had absolutely no confidence in my writing. To make things worse, my confidence would always take a bigger hit every time a professor would hand back a paper filled with mark ups.
After some significant life events in my mid 20s, I (very) slowly started to open up more and more. With that, I begin playing around with writing again.
In the last couple years, I have gotten a lot better with my writing. I have also learned some really important things about writing and even expressing yourself in general.
The most important thing that I have learned is that YES, YOU DO HAVE A VOICE. With that, don’t be afraid to create your own unique style. Don’t let people tell you how to write or do something. Be confident in what you do and how you do it.
I have also learned that WRITING IS MORE THEN JUST A BUNCH OF WORDS PUT TOGETHER. Like anything you do in life, your craft is your art. It is the equivalent to painting a picture. Anything you do needs to have character and flair. You need to bring passion to the table. With writing, you can’t just force words out. You have to do it from the heart and just let it flow from there.
Lastly, the third important thing that I have learned is that YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE CRITICS. There will always be someone to cut up your work. As important as spelling and grammar are in writing, the thing to know is that mistakes do happen. Don’t ever say you’ll never write again because you forgot a common or you once (or twice) spelled unfortunate as unfortenate. Learn from your mistakes and grow from it.
The point I’m making is that if you want to do something, then go do it. Don’t let anyone tell you no. Don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel like your not good enough.
I shared stories from my past to represent my struggle with writing. I spent over 10 years of my life running away from my passion. Why? Because I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of being told no. Never let you your insecurities control you. Be free to write want you want and be free to do what you want.
K.P. Gatti – 05.22.17