For the majority of my life I have thought of myself as a writer. I had an unusually active imagination as a young child (oh the stories I could tell!) and I’ve been putting that love of storytelling down on paper since I was able to put together a basic sentence or two. In grade school and the majority of middle school I focused mostly on short stories and even attempted to write a movie when I was just an angst-filled pre-teen. I even dabbled into poetry and song writing for a few years.
Growing up I tended to focus my skills as a writer on creative writing. The form of writing may have changed periodically, but I had a tendency to shy away from any form of writing that might be seen as “serious.” For some reason I had this idea that if I became too attached to “serious” genres of writing that I would lose my ability to write creatively. I’m not sure what made me gain this notion, but I know that for a long time it was a view that I held onto tightly.
At the time I thought most of my work was absolutely brilliant, though looking back at some of my earlier pieces causes me to laugh heartily at how underdeveloped my skills as a writer actually were. I am more than thrilled to report that my writing skills have improved since middle and high school, but I also know that five years from now I’m probably going to be feeling the same way about the way I write at this moment in time. As people we are constantly changing, continually growing and evolving. I’ve seen this reality come across quite strongly within my own history as a writer, though I’ve just recently begun to really notice it.
Over the last couple years I have experienced the biggest, and probably the most sudden, shift in who I am as a writer. It wasn’t until I started college that I began to fall in love with the previously forbidden “serious” side to writing. Then sometime after my Sophomore year I started to question whether or not my old fear of losing touch with my passion for creative writing was actually becoming a reality.
I don’t remember the last time I wrote a song or a poem. I know I haven’t written a short story in a few years. So does that mean that I have lost touch with who I am as a writer? The 15-year-old me would probably have argued yes. The 20-year-old me, however, is starting to realize that it just isn’t so. I may not write as many creative piece as I used to, but I still find joy in writing. I still think of “writer” as one of the biggest defining labels of who I am. Just because the way I write and the form that I write in is different does not mean that I have fallen out of love with writing. I have changed and evolved as a writer, and that’s okay. I still do what I love on a daily basis, even if the way I do it is a little bit different than the way it was a few years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I still love creative writing, even if I am a bit out of practice. But who knows? Maybe it’s time to try to get back into it?
Comment Question: Is there something that you loved doing as a child/teenager that you never thought you would stop doing? Is it ever too late to revive an old hobby/skill? Let me know in the comment section below!