Who I Am (At Length)

Hello, my name is Lauren Nalls and I am a new to writing long-time author.  My emotional intention for this blog at the moment, is clearly unclear.  I aim to make my internal motivation plain before the end of this composition, however.  I will most likely take a rambling path but hopefully will arrive at some insight as I have no real direction to the destination.  This is a searching moment for me.  Let me see if I can narrow things down a bit for both of us.  I want to write I need to write, I know that much. The external anatomy of my plan is to simply create space for myself to just write, write well, and write often.  I need structure and accountability so I will label each post to remind myself of how many days into my journey I am.  In the words of Lao-tzu “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and day one was my first.

I have always considered myself a writer, actually I have not ever considered myself anything but a writer, in my heart of hearts.  This I know to be my highest authenticity.  I have never before followed this path because I let disapproval as a child discourage me and rob me of my own voice.  Criticism caused me to leave my sense of self back on the road in the swirling dust somewhere and I am disappointed it has taken some 30+ years to find myself again (mid-life crisis much?) I’ve lived a life following expectation instead of standing up for my desire, and fire, and dreams. When I was told I should be something other than what I was, I believed it.  Every. Damn. Time.  So I went undercover and never made it out alive, until now.  Somewhere along the line I gave up on everything that was “me” but I am here now to kick resignation in the teeth, shake the shackles off my soul, and reassert my spirit.  I always imagined it would feel this amazing to live my truth!

I believed early on that I wasn’t a “normal” child.  I wasn’t interested in the same things other kids seemed to be interested in.  It was difficult and divisive for me and I spent a lot of my time alone.  I’ll never forget the time my mom signed me up for softball (*gasp*), I cried every time I had to leave the dugout (and so did my teammates.)  The position I played was right field; you know, the one place that the coach hoped nothing would ever be hit to.  I still remember a ball coming for me and I covered my head with my glove, turned my back, and crouched down with a squeak of terror.  Somehow, even then, I knew I sucked at being good at anything most kids were good at.  I had to pretend that playing Barbies and dress up were thrilling to no end when all I really just wanted to do was dissect frogs in my room; to study them under the microscope I had begged Santa for years to bring me, or read a great novel, or write.  I’m pretty sure my parents were worried about me.

I remember most of all as a girl I would write poetry and short stories in my room late at night; the typical under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight-so-I-wouldn’t-get-caught kind.  I loved to read the works of Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, E.E. Cummings, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Richard Adams, Paul Zindel, and many, many,  many, more.  My favorite work of all time is Mending Wall by Robert Frost.  These authors don’t know it, but they taught me much about imagery, euphony, cacophony, alliteration, symbolism and assonance. I can fully appreciate now, though I had no idea then, that this mouthful of unwieldy words has shaped a part of who I am through his work.  I still strive for these qualities in my work.

I don’t like to call myself a wordsmith.  When I hear that reference, in my mind’s eye I see a huge muscle-bound blacksmith-ish writer banging away on a sentence with a giant mallet trying to yield change by force.  I prefer to weave words.  Sort of like intertwining threads of thought .  It just seems more subtle.  I have always loved language, and the slightest differences words can have in context.  I simply and purely enjoy how one word just fits a phrase better than any other with a similar meaning.  This makes me happy beyond words (pun intended.)  Imagery is another love of mine.  My poetry usually develops as an image in my head first and then I write about it.   For my whole life I have kept scraps of paper with ideas and phrases written on them.  I have two full drawers of these snippets just waiting to be linked together in prose.  These thoughts on paper strips pile up because I know if I don’t write down ideas right when they come to me, I will lose them.  In fact, you will often find me with a left hand completely covered by scribble, and me praying I can get to a pen and piece of paper before I forget and wash my hands!  This is where the name “scribbleglitch poetry” comes from.   I truly believe that what I write doesn’t come from me, it flows through me from another source. For this I am filled with gratitude.  Writing makes me feel happy in my heart in a way I can only describe as the “fit” of finally doing what I know I was meant to do in this life.  It’s like falling in love, only with myself.   I have butterflies in my stomach every time I make a writing date with me.

I have just begun my first book but need to develop the discipline to write daily and this is a good place to start.  I am using writing prompts a lot to get my creative juices flowing!  I am also just learning how to blog so I hope this goes well.  This space will be a mix of poetry and opinion, confession and observation, learning, trial and error, and truth.  My ultimate goal (besides actually selling work some day and supporting myself doing something I love) is to have other writers, readers, and those who enjoy language nuances as much as I do think to themselves,  “Ah, I see what she did there, nice!”  One of my greatest hopes is to see my skill grow but I am still humble as I pray to the grammar, spelling,  and punctuation gods daily.

Never feeling like I fit in, or was good enough, or talented, has shaped me and carried through into my adult years.  I didn’t really find peers that I could discuss my love of literature, art, and poetry with as a child and this holds true for me today.  I still find distance between myself and most contemporaries in my immediate life.  As a kid, I shut down the things that made me truly happy because I didn’t want anyone to think I was odd.  I am now challenging myself to let that all go and follow passion.  To be complete.  To celebrate weirdness.  For these reasons I have reached out across state and country boundaries for the inspiration and the camaraderie of other authors, poets, and artists.  I have created this space to begin to express my true talent and love and joy and desire. My voice is slowly coming out of hiding and showing itself.  I’m tired of dying inside damn it!  Like my work if you do, don’t like it if you don’t, but life is too short for me to wait any longer.  My voice will never again be secret.  Comments and constructive criticism are always appreciated and I am really enjoying reading your blogs; you inspire me!  I am so excited to connect with a community of people who share my favorite things.  I think I will have Einstein’s quote tattooed onto my wrist:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

I guess we figured out why I am here eh?  Peace.

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6 thoughts on “Who I Am (At Length)”

  1. Great write, very stimulating to the mind, I thought the story was going to continue, guess ill definitely have to check on your future posts.

  2. You should 🙂

  3. I meant that the (about me) was so intriguing that I personally didn’t want to end(lol), but I’m sure whatever you create whether fiction/non fiction it will be great.

    • Ah, I see. Hm. I guess I’ll have to find something interesting to follow up with. Seriously struggling with fiction. That’s a big part of the reason I’m here. To learn from others and see if I can figure out how to not write so flat lol. Thanks for your comments!

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