When I was in 6th grade my fellow classmates and I were warned about a teacher that we were going to have to deal with in the second half of the year. This teacher, Mrs. Haff, was to be our keyboarding teacher. She was big, mean and angry according to the rumors around school.
On day one, she gave us all a manila folder to put our name on. She then had us take the folder and wedge it in between the tiny space between our computer screen and the keyboard so that we could no longer see our fingers over the keys. This was how we were going to learn she told us firmly, that if we couldn’t see the letters on the keyboard we would have to memorize their positions. We learned all about “home row”… a,s,d,f, g, h, j, k, l and the ; key. Even as I type out the letters, I don’t realize what they are but I know their positions intuitively.
So as intimidating and rough as Mrs. Haff was, I honestly loved keyboarding class. I loved to type I realized. I memorized the keys with very little difficulty and continued to get great grades.
Now I’m not a speed typist by any stretch of the imagination, but I can get myself through an article pretty quick and I thoroughly enjoy typing.
That was a big part of my foundation. The enjoyment I feel when I sit down at my keyboard.
In High school and in college I began playing around more with writing. I began to write poetry, influenced a great deal by my intense emotions, my relationships, my budding romance with my first love, and the heartbreak that followed.
I began to have experiences to write about.
To get to college we were required to write an essay of course… and I chose to write about the thing that inspired me so… at the time, my major in college was in Music Performance. I wrote what I thought was a beautiful essay. My mom proofed it and as much as she wanted to correct me in “writing how I speak”… I turned in the essay the way I liked it best.
It was very well received.
In college I joined the Literati club where I began playing with different types of poetry. I continued to write… and the subject again was on love and lost love.
I took a break from my writing voice for several years after college and then at the advice of my own Life Coach, in 2014 I was hired to write freelance articles for a tourist publication in the Adirondack Mountains, my home, my pride and joy in upstate New York.
I began coming up with ideas for articles and in my downtime, I would write them in my head. Now ideas just come up to me and flow through me. When I meditate, ideas come for articles and I begin them in my mind.
I give Mrs. Haff a lot of the credit for helping my fingers learn the keys so well all those years ago. That was the start for me. I am learning to discover my voice and so many have come back to me and said that my writing is so relatable, so real, so authentic. Exactly what I hope to convey to anyone who takes the time to read what I write.
I write because I have things to say. I write because I’m learning to voice myself. I write because you never know who wants to hear what you want to express.
The first time I had an article published in The Adirondack Guest Informer – the tourist publication I used to write for, was a milestone in my life. I had done something no one in my family had done, and I continue to contribute to publications that are interested in me. I love to tell stories, I love to help others, I love to share my experiences… and I’ve found that a lot of my coaching is based off of my personal experiences, retold as stories. Writing makes sense to me. It fits me, gives my heart a voice, and lets others learn with me along their journey.
Last night a dream came to me. I was back in High School but with several people I had met in my life. One of my classmates asked me about my accomplishments, saying that she had seen my name in a magazine as the author of an article. She asked how I’d done it. I was so humbled and told her that I just started one day. We already have what we need to write. We all have lives with stories, and we have the ability to tell those stories. The next thing that came to me in the dream, I was standing next to a rainbow at Niagara Falls. The realization to me that writing will lead me to my rainbow… giving me an outlet, a voice, a promise of good things to come.
We all start somewhere.
For me, my starting point was in an old computer lab in the library with the notorious keyboarding teacher.
I am eternally grateful.