Today’s guest post comes from Angela Schenk, a Success Coach for Bold Introverts, a writer, and the founder of Quiet Creative, LLC. She is focused on helping Bold Introverts—the quiet ones who have something to say—get their ideas out of their heads and into the world.
In one of my Mom’s old albums, there’s a photo of me in dance class when I was around four or five years old. The sight of it used to leave me feeling broken and embarrassed. Why? Because I was doing the wrong move. There’s a line of leotard-clad little girls all doing the same thing. And then there’s me doing something else entirely. For years, when I turned the page and saw the photo, I’d feel the urge to peel back the protective film and slip it behind another picture. There was a way things were supposed to be done—a perfect way—and here was concrete evidence that I wasn’t living up. This amounted to nothing short of a glaring character flaw in my mind.
Although I have always considered myself a writer, I have also spent many years not writing. In fact, for most of high school, college, and my 20s, I didn’t write at all. Not one story, not one poem. During that period, I was mostly entangled in living the life of a depressed alcoholic, while trying to keep my shit somewhat together in the meantime. So, you could say I didn’t have time to write, but the truth was that I was really in no place to write.
I didn’t start writing seriously—and by seriously I mean that I committed to sitting down and doing it at least once a week—until 2006, one year after I got sober. Two things happened when I committed to the practice of writing. Number one, I found that it was hard. It challenged me on nearly every level and forced me to look honestly at my addictions, my demons, my self-loathing, and my depression. Number two, it felt better than anything I had ever done before. It felt like a huge relief to open doors within myself that had been closed for years and let all those long-buried thoughts and feelings pour out of me onto the page.