This is the 2nd Place winner for the “How Writing Has Positively Influenced YOUR Life” writing contest. It’s by Lana Pecherczyk. Help me congratulate Lana in the comments. I will post the winner of the contest in just a few days. Stay tuned.
For most of my life, I’ve been good at one thing – art. The world around me saw my work, and said I should do more of it, so I did.
But when at the age of eight, I said I wanted to write stories, and even though we were poor, my mother came home with a blank notebook and a pencil saying I should follow my dreams, no matter where they take me for they will make me happy. I wasn’t very good at it, but it didn’t matter because I had her support and I liked it.
She died when I was thirteen, and left her four daughters orphaned. Suddenly, I had lost my dream champion, I was split from my youngest two sisters and had no one to talk to about the challenge of life.
So, I wrote in secret. I poured my heart out daily to a diary and sometimes imagined that she would listen. At the end of the day, even if she couldn’t hear them, writing kept that dream alive.
Eventually, without someone to champion my secret dream, I listened to the world around me. I focused on art and excelled in it. I enrolled in art school, but dropped out a short 6 months into it because I didn’t feel that painting black metaphoric circles everywhere made good art – I just liked to draw. I felt like a phony.
For many years, I hopped from one creative career to another and from one business idea to another, hoping to fill that void – surely the world told me I was good at art, I should follow that path, right? Then how come I felt like something was missing?
One day, I read an article by the author Holly Lilse, and guess what? She started out being an artist because her family was in the business and she was good at it. She listened to logic for many years, then eventually gave in to her desire to write and discovered that yes, you can be good at more than one thing. So, she had done it, could I too? Would I be any good?
But by now, I had two young children, an established marketing career and other freelance design commitments. Where would I even start?
I didn’t think of myself as a writer, even though I did it for work and I wrote in a diary – I’d never studied it. My dream wouldn’t let go, it niggled me at night and it pestered me during the day. My mother’s words never left me; follow your dreams no matter where they take you for they will make you happy. Eventually, I couldn’t sleep and decided the only person holding me back was me.
So, start I did, it was as simple as that. I started writing the story I’d been concocting in my head and sketchbook over the last few years, at a few words a day. Those words became a book, a blog and a new life. Once I opened up to my family and friends, I learned that they all supported me, every single one became my new dream champion.
How has writing positively influenced my life? It taught me to follow my dream, no matter what you think others say. It taught me that I can be good at more than one thing. It taught me that I don’t have to be an expert, or know fancy words to get something out of it.
But most of all, it taught me to be happy.
So, there it is. If you are a writer, use this opportunity to reflect on the positives writing has brought to your life. Comment, and share.
By Lana Pecherczyk