I like to call myself a professional scribbler. Not just because of my life as a blogger and my career as a copywriter, but also because scribbling has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a kid I have been jotting away notes and thoughts in journals, notebooks, even scraps of paper. I have all these thoughts and observations that need to be recorded and shared. Ok, well, maybe not all of them need to be shared. Some of them are probably best not shared, actually. I recently re-watched a favorite movie of mine from childhood, Harriet the Spy, and little Harriet's attachment to her notebook is something I can totally relate to. When I was a kid, it didn't matter where I was - school, vacation, or out with friends. I always had a notebook on me and I was scribbling down things and even having my friends add their notes and commentaries in the pages. I filled up journal after journal, most of which I still have. Of course, back then my observations were silly and frivolous (not saying that they aren't still that, but hopefully I have evolved from my 10-year-old rants about boys and evil teachers) but I really do believe that those years set the groundwork for my life as a blogger/writer.
Based on all these truths, it wasn't a surprise when I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in journalism. I was convinced that this was the career path for me. There was nothing I loved more than observing people and situations, then writing about them and sharing it with the masses. As a young lady about to leave for college, my dream job was to be a world famous reporter for The New York Times. Three years later, I found myself nearing graduation and quickly realizing that journalism was not for me. I loved writing, but I hated reporting. I hated the parts of getting into people's faces and asking them difficult questions. I hated the unbiased attitude I was required to take. I hated losing my voice.
You see, I write because I have an idea or a thought or an opinion or an event or an emotion that matters to me. And if I can't express how I feel through my writing, then that piece of writing is of little value to me.
Anyways, I graduated from college with a degree in journalism anyway (I somehow powered through my last year of classes and walked away with a solid foundation in writing and a deep understanding of communication) and two years later, here I am. Freelancing as a writer and a digital strategist.... and I couldn't be happier.
It's a beautiful feeling to have the freedom to pick and choose who I want to work with. It's a beautiful feeling to have the freedom to only write about things that really ignite my passion. I adore all my clients and love the work they do - to the point where writing for them doesn't even feel like work! Isn't that what we are looking for, really? To feel so connected to an idea or concept that working on it is a pleasure rather than a chore?
My only qualm with this new way of working is that almost all of my writing is done digitally... so it's not really writing at all, it's typing. I've been wanting to get back to my roots of sharing handwritten notes with friends and loved ones, so I've recently started pen palling with a few friends spread across the country! There's nothing better than being able to practice my penmanship on pretty stationery and send/receive correspondence. I absolutely LOVE getting snail mail, and you know I hang all postcards received on my fridge for endless smiles.
When I was in the seventh grade I had a pen pal in Ghana. When I was even younger, my main mode of communication with my maternal grandparents (living in India) was by handwritten letters. I actually have a shoebox filled of birthday cards and loving letters from relatives living so very far away from me. And I hope to keep adding to it! I want to put the writing back in my writing.
How about you guys - do you ever still write letters or thank you cards or post cards? Do you keep any of your old journals from when you were a kid (or an angsty pre-teen)? Drop it all in the comments below!
Scribbling away in fresh composition notebooks, xx Nikbear