Author

Erin Stevenson

Erin Stevenson
"Writing as a Creative Outlet"
College Writing 1, Ms. Therese Jones

Originally, I only wrote this for the assignment in class but as I was writing it, I started to have fun looking back on all my experiences with writing. My writing process isn't much different from others. I organized what I wanted to write and then sat down and wrote as much as I could. I went back to it a few days later and revised it. That went on for a little while until we had peer evaluations in class, and then more revisions happened. I had a really good time writing this essay though. I enjoyed being able to reflect on my past writings and how they helped me grow up and see the world. I thought it was fun to be able to think about the most vivid memories I had of writing.

Excerpt from "Writing as a Creative Outlet"

I looked at the blank page for a little longer and decided that the first page was going to be a “rule page.” I grabbed one of my nice pens and wrote, “1. If you don’t feel like writing, you don’t have to! 2. If you have any ideas, jot them down wherever you want! 3. If you want to write a little story, DO IT! 4. If you want to write a poem, DO IT! 5. If you want to write about your feelings or what you’re thinking, DO IT! 6. If you want to doodle, sketch, draw, or stick photos in here, DO IT! 7. Don’t feel burdened by this journal. You bought it for the exact opposite reason. Have fun with it. Love it.” These were the rules I had set for myself, and in the beginning, I had to go back to that first page and re-read them to remind and reassure myself that it was okay to do whatever I had thought about doing in that journal.

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Writing as a Creative Outlet
by Erin Stevenson

At some point in their life, most people feel like they cannot say what is on their mind. So, what is a way that you can say what is on your mind without actually saying anything out loud? The answer is writing. Writing can take any form; you can have a journal, short stories, poems, the list could go on forever. Most people think about essays and reports for work when they hear the word writing so it is often associated with negative emotions, but you can have fun while writing. Writing became one of my favorite creative outlets and still is to this day.

When some people hear someone say they enjoy writing, they have a hard time connecting to the person because they don’t receive the same rewards and benefits from it as others. In my case, writing provides a way of de-stressing, concept creation, and tracking my progress. When I am stressed out, I am able to take out my journal and write down my emotions. I can do it as a list, a story, or a poem. I can also write something that is fun and distracting for me to help clear my mind of the reasons why I am stressed. One of the fun and distracting ideas that I write down are things that I would like to draw or photograph. Having my little journal with me gives me a place to put those thoughts so I don’t lose them later on. I also enjoy writing because it allows me to see my progress over time. I can go back whenever I want and see the difference in my writing from months to years ago and compare it to my writing now.

When I was younger, I remember sitting in my room with pink walls and soft carpet. Back then, I always thought that journals and diaries had to have a very specific topic being written in them. There were multiple occasions that I tried to have a journal, and I would start writing what I thought was supposed to be written in it. I was never able to get it to work out though. I would always be too nervous to write in it because “What if it isn’t the right thing to write in here?” Eventually, I learned that some of my favorite things to write were short stories, poems, and journals. I always thought that writing short stories was something you did with the intent of someone reading them at some point, but once I got that thought out of my mind, I was able to write short stories that got my mind off whatever was bugging me, made me happy, and let me get different ideas out onto a page so I could always look back at them and remember what those ideas were. Along with short stories, poems are fun for me to write. One of my favorite things to read is poetry, so I feel like it comes pretty naturally for me to want to write it as well. In the beginning, I had the same thoughts about poetry as short stories. I thought if you wrote a poem that you were writing with the intent of one day showing it to others. It took a little longer for me to get over the idea of someone reading a poem written by me than a short story, but I was able to move past it and write poems whenever I wanted. Other than short stories and poems, journals are very beneficial to me. Journals allow me a place to write in whatever format I want about what is going on in my life at that time. Typically, if I write a journal it is a brain dump. I get any thought in my head out, and I don’t stop writing until I can’t think of anything else that needs to be written.

I walked through my front door after getting off of the bus in third grade and made my way into my eight-year-old bedroom. Sitting with my back against my bed, I decided I wanted to have a diary because my friends were all talking about theirs at school. I pulled out a regular notebook and wrote “DIARY” on the cover. I opened the notebook and stared at the blank pages; I didn’t know what to write. Two years later, I was walking through the store with my mom when I saw a cute notebook. I asked her if we could get it and she said, “What are you going to use it for?” I excitedly replied, “I want to write!” She nodded her head and told me to put it in the cart. We got home, and I grabbed my new notebook and went into my room, all just to open it and have no idea what to write in it. This cycle continued for years. I would get excited and then get too nervous because I didn’t know what to write.

Freshman year of high school rolled in and I thought to myself “I’m grown up now. I’m a high schooler. I can do anything I want.” While this way of thinking wasn’t completely accurate it pushed me to try again with writing. “Hey Lindsay, can you drive me to Target?” I asked my sister, waiting for her reply. I wasn’t shocked when the answer I got was, “Why do you need to go to Target?” I looked at her and said, “There’s something that I really want to get.” She sighed and said, “Okay, let’s go then.” We got to Target, and she told me that she was going to go and look at the house plants. I thought it was perfect because that meant I could go and decide which journal I wanted without feeling like I needed to rush to pick one. After flipping through a ton of notebooks, I found a small notebook with a soft cover. It was pink and had a gold right corner with pages that were crème and lined. I decided that this notebook was the one I wanted. I decided while I was there to buy nicer pens in hopes that they would motivate me to write more. I got back home and sat down with it at my desk. I had all my nice pens out, I had it opened to the first page, and I ended up staring at it. I didn’t know what to write. I started having all of the same thoughts as when I was younger of “What if it isn’t right?” I started to get frustrated with myself because I really wanted to write this time. I looked at the blank page for a little longer and decided that the first page was going to be a “rule page.” I grabbed one of my nice pens and wrote, “1. If you don’t feel like writing, you don’t have to! 2. If you have any ideas, jot them down wherever you want! 3. If you want to write a little story, DO IT! 4. If you want to write a poem, DO IT! 5. If you want to write about your feelings or what you’re thinking, DO IT! 6. If you want to doodle, sketch, draw, or stick photos in here, DO IT! 7. Don’t feel burdened by this journal. You bought it for the exact opposite reason. Have fun with it. Love it.” These were the rules I had set for myself, and in the beginning, I had to go back to that first page and re-read them to remind and reassure myself that it was okay to do whatever I had thought about doing in that journal. One day I looked at it and thought to myself, “I can leave it at home and at the end of the day I will sit down and write whatever ideas I had and thoughts I had earlier on.” This wasn’t a good move to make on my part. It led to me forgetting ideas that I had, and I wouldn’t end up sitting down at the end of the day to write in it. I would either get too busy with schoolwork or I would be too tired to want to go and write for as long as it would take me to write everything I needed to. Instead, I started carrying it around with me everywhere. If I was at school, it would be in between my pencil case and my books and folders for my classes. If I was out of my house, I would have it in my bag with a little pencil case filled with pens and a few of my favorite-colored pencils. There was never a time that I didn’t have it. I had filled it up entirely by the middle of Freshman year. I realized that I could put all of it into my computer so I would never lose it just in case something were to happen to the notebook. I sat down and wrote everything in the order it was. If there were little doodles, sketches, or pictures I would either take pictures of the pages or I would find a way to scan the page into the document. After doing that, I went out and bought a new journal where I wrote all seven of those rules on the first page and started all over again.

When I look back at my experiences with writing, I am glad to be able to say that writing has had a positive impact on me. It helped me de-stress, create new ideas, and improve my writing. Writing became one of my favorite creative outlets for those reasons. I hope that in the future I continue to write the amount I do and have in the past. I also hope that as time progresses, my writing improves. I have seen my writing change a couple of times already and for the better, so I hope that it continues to go that way. Overall, I think writing will stay a part of who I am for the rest of my life.


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