Through all twenty years of my life on this planet I have found that sometimes I have trouble finding my voice. Using my voice. Making my voice heard. Thankfully, I have discovered the beautiful life of writing.
More recently, I have transferred to Bemidji State University and started a potential double major and double minor in English. I plan to write, I plan to teach, I plan to travel. I plan to follow my dreams and make them come true.
In transferring schools I have finally landed at an actual University, where I am meeting new people constantly, getting involved on the daily, and discovering new ways to accomplish what I have planned for myself. In completing almost an entire year at BSU, I have taken several different kinds of English classes, and still am in that process continuously. One of my favorites, however, has been Creative Nonfiction.
I broke out of my shell last semester in the first section of this class, where I wrote a piece about a family tragedy that had happened just a year ago now. The outpouring of love in the feedback I received after sharing this piece was nearly overwhelming. Now, in my second semester and in the second section of Creative Nonfiction, I have never felt a more powerful family atmosphere than I have in that class. In that room. With those people. It’s beautiful.
Every week, we are to share a piece. We hand it out, let others read it, and then reconvene the following class session to read it aloud and discuss. This past week however, we have definitely come to a new understanding of each other. The niceties of our writing is being cast aside and the truth of our scars are beginning to emerge. I have received support in all its forms in just sharing some of what I have written. Just last week, I couldn’t make it through reading a piece of mine, tears spilling down my face. A classmate continued reading for me, while another got up and crossed the room to give me a hug. That mere thought alone is enough to bring tears to my eyes all over again.
Thus, I began my wall. My inspiration wall. My voice wall. My Whitney wall. It is a collection of feedback I have received from pieces I have written — positive and negative, in all of its forms. So, when I hit a block in my writing, or I am feeling down trucking through the stress of the semester I can look to it, and feel. I am able to see how my writing has affected others, how my words and my voice has impacted them, and read what they had to say about it. I feel at home when I look at my wall, and I feel at home when I am in that classroom.
So to the students of Creative Nonfiction I & II, thank you.