Writing Through the Angst

I am the first to admit the winter months (after the holidays) do me in.  DSCF0313

But how can I feel this way when the first week of the new year is like a new start for me?

We all have times, whether it is the first of the calendar year, school year or just sometime we decide on a “fresh start” to things, that things are going to change for the better.  Well, I’ve gone and done it again!

Here it is, half way through the month of a ‘new start’ and I can’t get the motivation I need to do what I know I need to do.  And because of that I tend to go into a slump, emotionally at times (and trust me, the wonderful rainy, dreary weather that I’ve been faced with does not help at all).

Years ago when I was just a pup, I went through the normal pre-teen angst we sometimes face growing up (anyone remember the awkward middle school/jr. high days), family issues that arose at times, etc. During one of my lowest moments I had a wonderful teacher who noticed my troubles and sat down to talk with me. She happened to be my English teacher.  I loved to read and had pretty good grades but she realized that term I was struggling.  I poured out my woes to her.  She gave me a valuable lesson for life right then.  She said keep a journal. It didn’t have to be some pink frilly locked book  but just something that I could write down my emotions, thoughts, worries, whatever happened to be troubling me.  She told me it helps her though the tough moments but also gave her inspiration into how to handle things.

So I took her advice. But the snippets of journaling seemed much too personal to me (I know-weird). I did something a bit different with my woes and joys.  I created imaginary characters to deal with the issues. These characters started telling their own story (though at times it was mine–just through someone else’s eyes). One of these ‘stories’ I entered in a contest my English teacher told us about. She read all of the entries and called me to stay after class.  I thought I was in trouble! Instead, she was amazed with my writing. She loved my characters, the storyline and told me she’d help me polish the grammar mistakes to make it pop. (Sound familiar?) 😉

My story was a ghost story for a Halloween contest through our local newspaper. I took first prize out of a range of 12-17 year olds!  I was so excited! How could something so much fun and so easy for me get first prize?  Next thing I knew, she had me enter other contests. I didn’t always place first but I did have my share of wins and finals-county and state levels included.  I had found my joy! And the best thing…it gave me an outlet (though I didn’t know it at the time–for me it was just fun).

Now, I look back on those beginnings and feel that same angst (a bit different–probably seasonal :P) and I turn to my writing. My characters become my sounding board to bounce emotion off of, they in turn take it and run with it on their own story . Believe it or not, in the moments of danger and disaster ending hooks, there is joy and uplifting moments of excitement. Like a reader, it gives me that adrenaline boost to go further, to explore deeper to feel more–and to create what I hope to be wonderful stories to share with others.

Here is to you ‘angst’–I raise a cup of vanilla bean latte to you (in times of creativity)  🙂  .

Hugs to all!