I used to write.

I used to write.  I used to write for online magazines and wellness blogs. I used to write how-to guides and gift guides. I used to write music reviews and movie reviews.  I used to write interviews and list-icles. I used to write for so many websites, unpaid of course, and one or two paid ones.  I would write what to buy your boyfriend for his birthday for $20-40 and think I had hit the big time.  I would write a short paragraph on a new lawnmower for one of those freelance dashboards earning a measly $5.05 and still think I had made it.  I was being paid to write.  Take that BFA program that couldn’t see my genius in last year’s application: I was now a paid writer.

And I used to write for me.  I used to update my travel blog weekly, if not more often, whether travelling or not.  I used to keep a list of story ideas on my phone and a dozen story beginnings on my laptop; I would finish them one day.  I used to write every night in a journal.  I used to write every morning using an online writing prompt (or two or three if the first one sucked).  I used to write short stories, letters, plays, movie scripts.  I used to write for classes: essays were always preferable to exams, even if the subject was an analysis of that one research paper I had skipped and the other I had skimmed.

I used to write.

I used to be defined by my writing.  In grade 12, I was an editor of the school newspaper.  I had written (and directed) a one act play and won an award for the script-writing.  I spent a day in the literal dumps with a Haitian refugee and wrote words that still bring me back to the sweat, sad and sweet of that moment.  I was off to UBC to major in Creative Writing (with a minor in business of course, because I wasn’t crazy!).

I used to write.

I used to tell people I wrote.  I used to share my blog posts, articles and reviews.  I used to share the posts with friends and retweet the publications.  I used to copy the URL links and screenshot the homepages where my name was prominently (or, at least legibly) featured.  I used to hole up with my computer and announce that I had a deadline.  Or carry my computer to my bedroom stating that I just wanted to write something for me.

I used to write.

I miss writing.

I miss having these inspired ideas.  I miss seeing characters come alive in my head.  I miss having deadlines.  I miss having a topic to research and synonyms to discover.  I miss checking a word count and editing my work.

Reading my writing brings back a new nostalgia (and an ever-present editor: did I really use that word?).  Story beginnings that ache to be finished and published articles that yearn to be filed into a portfolio.

It’s hard to start writing again.  Just like it’s hard to find inspiration or, maybe in my case, motivation.  I used to write regardless or in spite of talent.  I used to write even though the BFA program wasn’t sure I should.  I used to write even though jobs one through thirty refused to respond to my inquiry email or sample articles.  I used to write like it was my job.

I used to write.


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