Virginia Woolf once stated that Every secret of a writer`s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. I have approached life in such a manner: I want to understand the human condition, but more importantly, I want to understand myself. My path to calling myself a writer has been circuitous. By taking time away from academia and experiencing the world, I have found inspiration for writing.
My experiences growing from a child to an adult first built the foundation for inspiration to write. I grew up in a culturally diverse lower middle-class neighborhood in Indianapolis, Indiana. As an elementary student, I was constantly exposed to a kaleidoscope of cultures. Being so young and having limited experiences, I thought this was the norm. I owe many of my worldviews to my experiences: going to my friend`s churches, celebrating various holidays, dancing in a racially diverse ballet studio, or even going shopping outside of where my parents would. At Indiana University, I approached my four years there with that same fervor. To satisfy my love of learning, I studied abroad in Quebec, Canada to help earn my minor in French. Along with my minor in dance, I joined the formation ballroom team and took classes at a nearby studio. In order to get over my fear of speaking in front of people, I joined a sorority, Theta Phi Alpha, and took the leadership position of Sisterhood Chair. In order to give back to the community and dig deeper into my faith, I volunteered and then interned in the religious education department of St. John Catholic Center. I found out that although I was once extremely shy, I loved working with people–not just helping them from afar.
Following my revelation, I decided to pursue teaching, which is an endless inspiration for writing. I student taught in Ballinasloe, Ireland, and have taught the past three years in urban school districts. These past three years, I have also been consistently writing. For my students, I have written books that truly tie-in with our curriculum. Outside of school, I have been taking writer`s workshops at the Indiana Writer`s Center, attended the Midwest Writer`s Workshop, joined the Midwest Writer`s Workshop Plus group, and joined a critique group to further my writing.
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Hence, the thread through all of my experiences has been writing: whether it was writing on a blog for Indiana University, writing in my own journal, creating pieces to be critiqued in groups at the Indiana Writer`s Center, or working on my young adult fantasy novel. Writing is my lens through which I experience the kaleidoscope that is life in the 21st century. After living through twenty-five years of these experiences, I have a lot to write about. However, I also realize that my scope is also limited by only having twenty-five years` worth of experiences. I have many stories–too many stories–in my brain that need to be written down. I write because my brain is full, and I would love to talk about my created world with someone else. I write to share the idiosyncrasies that I experience: seeing a truck driver wearing a bow tie and suspenders while driving down the highway, catching two mice in two days while teaching fourth grade, having to open a car door in a drive-through because the window is frozen shut… All of these experiences allow me to interpret life in an almost magical quality instead of a mundane one. By finding inspiration to continue enjoying life, I find inspiration to write.