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!

13 thoughts on “Writing Through the Angst

  1. Loni,
    I love the story of your English teacher. Teachers have had such a profound impact on my life — whether or not they know it. Maybe they just think they are doing their job. But a bit of well-placed advice or encouragement at the right time can make all the difference in the world.
    Here’s to you writing past that angst! I raise my cup of chrysanthemum tea to you! It’s not a vanilla bean latte, but it will have to do! 🙂

    1. I’ll have to try chrysanthemum tea, Pintip. I’m a tea drinker, too–usually my afternoon cuppa. I always loved having teachers who went above and beyond the normal 8-3 day. Those who took extra time showed that they were in it for more than just a job–to them teaching was a way of sharing their joy.


  2. What a great story, Loni. I hope your English teacher is still part of your life and can take joy in seeing where your writing has taken you. I’m sure she is very proud of the woman you have become.
    I raise my cup of vanilla bean latte to all teachers–especially ones like yours, who take the time and notice a sad face and do something about it.

    1. Nancy, I think about her often. Unfortunately I moved around so much growing up, moments like her were fleeting. Sometimes, moments like those are just ‘fated’ to happen.
      I’ll give you one better (though I do hope she is proud of me wherever she may be), I wish I could let her know how proud of her I am–for being that little ray of sunlight to a little cloud.
      There are so many great people out there like her. It’s having the opportunity to be blessed by their presence.
      Cheers to those who make a difference. 🙂

  3. Good morning, Loni! This is my first real vanilla bean latte (just got home from the store with the tasty stuff) and I definitely see why you raise these puppies everyday! I think it is a real blessing to be able to have a creative outlet for those angsty moments in our lives. And even more of a blessing to have someone like your teacher who even understands and encourages the outlet. I, too, hope she knows in some way that you’ve kept at it and are doing what you love. Cheers fishy sister 🙂

    1. A little bliss of vanilla bean latte a day–keeps the doldrums at bay! But angst can be a good creative outlet–without it, we have no comparison to joy. But it’s those who help us learn to cope with it when we feel at our lowest that lift our spirits when not even a latte can. 😉

  4. How wonderful to hear about such a great teacher! Very inspiring. Yay for Loni-Mermaid! 😉

    1. Thank you, Kerri. You meet a few along the way who touch a spark to your intellect and boom–everything makes sense.
      Yay for you, Sweetheart!
      Fin High-Fives!

  5. Diana,
    They become an extension of us when we don’t know how to express ourselves any other way sometimes. It’s wonderfully crazy! (Though I love to be able to do things through my characters that I could never do–for whatever reason. I think that’s one of the things I love about being a writer. You can be and do anything you want! 😀
    Thanks for understanding. 😉 All the best, sis!

  6. Loni,
    I really think you should track down your English teacher and send her this link. Sometimes teachers also need to know that they did indeed make a difference in someone’s life. It’s funny how that first entry was for Halloween and now you’re writing about ghosts. LOL.
    Keeping a journal is such a wonderful experience. When you look back and see the ink of your words running together from the tears of your old sixteen-year old self about some boy you can barely remember, you do remember how real that angst was. It’s also great to remember because maybe we don’t belittle that same angst when it shows up in our kids. It helps to understand that we all go through it at some time.
    What a fabulous post, Loni.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are right, Kim. I think that is why I have a great connection with my daughters.

      Kind of ironic how the ghost story/Halloween story connected.

      Thanks and hugs to you. 😀

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