PROMPT: What Brings You Joy in Life?

Writing is what brings me joy. It may sound mundane, but I assure you it’s not…

I’ve loved reading and writing as a kid. I stuttered when I was a kid, so much so I dreaded reading aloud. When we were doing in-class reading aloud, would literally count the kids and match them with paragraphs, so I could practice reading my part before they got to me. Woe to me if I miscounted! I didn’t mind reading to myself, at all, because I knew how to from age 3. I was reading high school aged books at the end of elementary school. With my stutter, however, I became a better writer than a speaker.

My stuttering, according to the doctor, was due to a disconnect between my brain and my speaking ability. My brain worked so hard and fast, that my mouth couldn’t keep up and my speech would skip like a record. I was much better at writing things down, and eventually typing.

As a child, I would make a newspaper for the neighbors on my street. I loved going around like Lois Lane and asking about things going on in our neighborhood. As a teen I would enter any and all writing contests I could. I eventually wrote for my high school newspaper and literary magazine — becoming the editor of both in my Senior year of high school. They both won regional awards that year too. Coincidence. I think NOT.

I continued writing while in college, submitting to all the essays and competitions I could. However, I wasn’t allowed to write for anything but school, while married to my Abuser. He was a narcissist, you see, and writing took the focus of of him,

I was allowed to do a part-time job for a local arts newspaper for about a year and a half — until I was “shirking my responsibilities to the family.” Honestly, no one suffered or was denied anything, he was upset that I was having fun interviewing people, doing research, photographing people and places, and getting recognition. He put a stop to that immediately. After that, I wasn’t even allowed to write in a personal journal, because I was “being lazy,” not to mention that he was reading my personal thoughts and didn’t like that expression of ‘free will’ either. I even stopped taking nature photographs at that point. He imprisoned me physically, so why not my mind too?

After the final episode of domestic violence that put my life in peril, I left with my kids. Upon entering therapy, my therapists encouraged me to free-write and journal. I remember thinking, Do I dare??? My last therapist encouraged me to write anytime I wanted.

“Laura,” he explained. “You’re not with him anymore. It’s not like he can stop you.” OMG, he was RIGHT. I’ve been writing everyday since!

The first rule of writing, is: write about what you know. I knew I loved helping people, and I knew what I was feeling when I was in abuse… So this Blog was born!

I find writing assignments wherever I can, to hone my skills. Writing has literally saved my life and it’s better therapy than I could ever hope for! Love and light!