I had the presence of mind in the third grade to know that I wanted to be a writer. I started writing poetry at that time. But I caught the writing bug at the age of 6 when my Great Cousin Lep told me to write him a story (so I wouldn't interrupt him from watching his t.v. show). I sat in that reclining leather chair and banged out the longest story on a pad of paper that any 6 year old could write. Cousin Lep was my first editor. He let me know I needed punctuation and to stop using "and" between what were supposed to be sentences. Since the earliest of days, I recall wanting to write lyrics and make music after looking at the lyrics from albums. (Sly and The Family Stone, Ojays, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5)
Playing "school" and being the teacher game me a reason to write lessons, test questions and short stories that none of my playmates would read. All this writing went in the trash. What was the use? Well, I can say that all that early writing made me feel important, like I had a voice, that all my thoughts found a way outside of my head and spirit. The occasional diary entry as a teenager about affairs of the heart put me on the right track when I was heartbroken over some boy who didn't like or love me. (Laughing Out Loud!!!)
Even the physical process of writing is what I now know to be therapeutic.
It has been calming to write.
It's yoga for my hands, arms, fingers and back.
It's down right empowering to write!
As I put words down for my first and forthcoming memoir I've had to exercise my brain and stretch myself to deal with the sensitive subject matters of family life and the connection of mental health issues. I've had to reach inside myself to be authentic, transparent and expose my vulnerability. All of this exercise has left me increasingly empowered, charged and open to receive more clarity and enlightenment.
The therapy received from my words and thoughts through journaling or what I, at times, call "My To Do List", have produced such positive results in my life because they come from a place of gratitude, clarity, determination, strength, inspiration and motivation!
I encourage you to take a stab at writing on a sheet of paper, back of an envelope or, better yet, a journal. What about a book! Get your thoughts out of your head, creative intentions and lists of "to do's" on paper or a device. It may provide energy or power to your day and throughout your life. It has definitely done that for me.
Kathy A Hampton is a writer, storyteller- focused on "wellness writing"; research analyst, creative thinker and advocate; she has a love for learning and is the author of the forth coming book On a Good Day My Sister Speaks Mandarin. Educated - Howard University, Army Brat, Hometown - San Francisco; currently residing -Newark, NJ