Dear Diary: Revisiting My Adolescent Writing

Dear Diary:

Today I opened the banker's box that lay tucked in a dark corner under the stairs, the one with a layer of dust covering its surface, masking the permanent marker printed "Kelly's Personal Writings." Yesterday, we revamped our storage situation and at the tail end of this onerous task, I courageously pulled out this Pandora's Box, hauling it over to the floor beside my desk. This morning, eager yet intrepid, I began reading some of its contents: journals, diaries, books of poetry and short stories I had written as a teen. I spent various parts of the day revisiting this writing of my youth...and wondering how I might revive it.
 
My diaries and journals tell me secrets I'd almost forgotten. The collection of poetry and short stories speaks of grown-up themes voiced by an innocent child. It was a wild ride revisiting this writing and learning about myself all over again through adult eyes and perceptions. Here I am in a sense, living a second adolescence through my current writing. Back then it was serious stuff; the stuff of adolescent turmoil and uncertainty drove my writing. In contrast, today, it is the voice of confidence and life experience that defines my writing.

Those were humble beginnings. But they are less humble than the ones I face now as I put my voice out there through my plays, poetry and personal essays. Isn't it interesting how life experience makes you more humble as a writer? Now, Dear Diary, I am looking forward to reworking some of my earlier writings--wish me luck! :-))

All authors have a back story to their writing journey. How did your writing career begin? Can you trace it back to early journalling or story-telling? How has your early writing shaped your voice? Have you ever revisited pieces you wrote as a child or adolescent, and if so, how have they changed?

Comments

  1. I threw out all my teenage writings. They weren't perfect and I was embarrassed by them. Wondering now what I would think of the voice in all those old stories?

    I quit writing in a diary after my brother started reading it regularly. I tried once after I was married then my HUSBAND read it. UGH. It's not that I've anything to hide, I'm just really protective of my privacy.

    Glad you are able to rediscover these forgotten treasures.

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  2. See MissV...regarding your brother and husband reading your diary, you were meant to be a writer because others want to read your writing! As for me, I've always thought, if anyone reads my private journal, they deserve to learn what they don't like! LOL! (To my knowledge, they've never done so. Anyway, it can be a challenge just getting them to read the latest draft of a play!)

    I like what you said about the voice--my childhood writing most definitely has a different voice. In fact, as I am trying to adapt some of it, I'm not quite sure how to change that voice. It will be interesting to see what new discoveries "these forgotten treasures" as aptly you put it, yield.

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