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Slowly, I turn the plastic sleeves and cringe as I read through the typed words:

Always by myself,
Never any friends,
Basically a hermit,
No one caring about,
Me, the loner.

Wow, I remember being really proud of this, I think. 

“This” is a binder is full of poetry I’d written in Middle School. The pages of poems, some of which are carefully pencil-marked with notes for revision, are neat, and I can see how much care I put into compiling my work.

As I look over these poems at the age of 26, however, I feel embarrassed by my juvenile writing skills—the awkward similes, the lack of diverse diction, the overuse of exclamation points and commas. Then, I remind myself that it doesn’t matter how terrible I think this poetry is. 

What matters is that these poems represent my origins as a writer. They showcase the age in which I grew to learn and love creative writing.

In school and at home, I’d always been a quiet girl, but, with the help of my seventh grade English teacher, I found an outlet for my voice through writing. Writing gave me the therapeutic freedom I needed to talk about my fears of growing up, my dissatisfaction with my family life and my feelings of being an outsider as a Puerto Rican in an elitist private school. I knew, then, that I wanted to be a writer.

Today, I keep my passion for writing alive by writing for you.

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Part of the reason I love writing is because it allows me to connect with you, to share my identity and ideas with you in a way that is both therapeutic and productive. 

I believe in the necessity of writing privately, but I cannot imagine my life without the relationships I’ve built by sharing my writing publicly too. 

I’m realizing that when I look back at that binder full of poetry from my youth, I need to put aside my embarrassment. 

Instead, I should feel grateful because I wouldn’t be where I am today as a writer if I hadn’t started there.

I strive to share my words in ways that not only help me but also impact and motivate my readers. As the saying goes, I must take great risks in writing to reap great rewards from it. I must continually dig deep within myself, to think honestly about my experiences as a woman, a mother and a human being in order to share them in meaningful ways with others. 

Getting to the point where I can be completely candid with you has not been an easy road, especially since I often worry about people having negative reactions to my writing. Yet, your responses have been overwhelmingly positive. 

I am so grateful to you for truly making Equis Place a safe space for me to express my voice. Please share your voice below by linking up ANY post, as long as its original, to Your Place @ Equis Place. I look forward to reading what you've written!

I Want to Know:
  • What are your origins as a writer?
  • Why do you love writing?
  • What scares you about writing?  

I'm writing a post a day this April with BlogHer's NaBloPoMo.
This post is also linked to Things I Can't Say.
If you don't have Facebook, no worries! Scroll down to use my site's regular comment form.
 


Comments

04/24/2013 6:40pm

My origins as a writer are similar to yours, notebooks full of high school and grade school poems and stories. Writing is such a wonderful outlet and being able to share it is wonderful. Stopping by from PYHO.

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Xiomara Andrea Maldonado
04/25/2013 3:54pm

I love that you've been writing since you were young. No matter how immature those pieces may seem, they represent an important part of the journey.

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04/24/2013 8:07pm

Oh great post! My mom has folders of stories I wrote in grade school. I have only recently started to blog. I am trying to improve my writing skills. I am starting to write my daughter's story about her battle with Dravet Syndrome(a rare form of catastrophic epilepsy). I am excited to be starting my journey into writing!

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Xiomara Andrea Maldonado
04/25/2013 4:03pm

I've found that blogging is a great well to tell your and your family's stories to a large audience. I'm so glad you are taking this journey.

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04/25/2013 2:35pm

I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a little girl.

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Xiomara Andrea Maldonado
04/25/2013 3:57pm

I love that especially since you've grown up to be a writer who has such a unique voice and important stories to tell.

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04/26/2013 9:12am

You are a faboulous writer, as well as a great blogger and woman. You truly foster good will and encouragment as you share yourself with readers. I love my blog and sharing my crafts, but my writing is something I am not comfortable with. I wish I felt more confident in my writing, but I like my chatty, conversational style as it is what makes me comforable. When I get home I will link up one of my posts where I feel I shared a lot about "me".

Enjoy the weekend.

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Xiomara Andrea Maldonado
04/29/2013 10:33am

I can't wait until you link your post! I understand not being comfortable. Sharing our personal writing can be a frightening venture but I think its totally worth it. Your cards are awesome and I think provide valuable insight into your kind, artistic and giving nature. Thank you for your affirming words, Winnie.

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04/26/2013 7:16pm

Wow. What a story. Thanks for sharing on Friday Flash Blog

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Xiomara Andrea Maldonado
04/29/2013 10:29am

Thanks to you for hosting!

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