Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't You Dare...

I am purging my house of junk before my move. That's my goal anyway. My problem is, I start going through my "junk" and suddenly minutes turn into hours and hours turn into a whole evening of me looking through old files and pictures and letters and journals. I've been in a college time-warp the last few days. I am not even going to break open the Pandora's Box that is high-school me. (Actually, there are two "Pandora's Boxes" that look more like giant storage bins.) I would be trapped for days revisiting teenage me...and I'm not ready for that journey of emotional ups and downs. Maybe I'll look again when I want to write a book for teenagers or something. Wait a second....

I found a folder of creative writing from the one creative writing class I took my freshman year at BYU. (For those of you who are somewhat new to my blog, I put aside my writing pursuits and became a registered nurse instead. Now I want to be a writer. Go figure.) And I had to laugh, really laugh, at my writing it all its awfulness. But it was sincere. Really, really sincere. And I wanted to squeeze twelve years-ago me and say, "Keep going! You'll get there!" (Am I "there" yet? No.) I loved all the comments from my creative writing professors because they were SPOT ON. And I remember now reading those comments then and not really getting it. In fact, I remember taking it kind of personally and thinking that they didn't really get what I was trying to say. (So, I guess that's why I turned to nursing. It wasn't personal. I wasn't ready to write.)

And tucked in that folder was an equally awful creative writing piece I wrote for a religion class. And you know what? I didn't have to find that piece to remember what my religion professor (not a writing professor (but a very brilliant man)) wrote. He complimented my writing, and it's stuck with me for twelve years. And sometimes it keeps me going.

Don't you dare do anything else with your life but write!

So spot on or not, I didn't remember much from my creative writing class, but I always remembered that this august scholar of scripture liked my writing.


  1. You just made me inch toward my basement and all those boxes of memorabilia, but then I remembered there are dead crickets down there and changed my mind. Besides, I'm pretty sure nobody wrote anything that cool on any of my religion papers. :)

  2. It's amazing what one piece of praise and encouragement can keep us going. I definitely agree with him. You should be a writer.

  3. Sometimes it's all about timing.. about being ready for the journey. Sometimes it's another journey we have to take first.

    I love when time opens our eyes. And when brilliant people see in us the things we're not ready to yet.

  4. I was going to say the exact same thing as Candice. Well, not the dead cricket part, but that did make me laugh. :)

    Diana and I were actually recently mourning the fact that neither of us kept all those horrible stories we wrote in jr high and high school. I have a few, but most are lost. It makes me really sad!

  5. hey, i'm moving too. we can declutter together, sort of.

    my professors had the opposite effect. i knew i loved to write, but writing term papers and essay tests killed my love of writing. i'm just glad i found that love again a few years ago. now i'll never let it go.

  6. Duuude, I know! Taking trips down memory lanes is so tempting when you're supposed to be cleaning. I hope you had fun even if you felt a little guilty afterward. I'll bet it's even harder not to reminisce when you're going through your kids' stuff.

  7. Pandora's box - haha :)

    What a great compliment. No wonder it stuck with you. When you get your book published you'll have to send that professor a copy if you can track him down.