My most influential touchstone moment is probably the poem that got published in schools art book. This was the first time I was ever recognized and appreciated for something that I made and took time to think about.
I think the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that I did not write this to get published, I did not write this to get applause, or for teachers to come up to me and say they “appreciated my work”. I wrote this to complete an assignment. I chose something that had meaning to me and I thoughtlessly let my pencil flow. In a way, this kind of makes me think that writing more carelessly is the way to go. I should think less of form or structure and more of getting my emotions out of my head and onto my paper.
This moment also means a lot to me because being praised at such an early age taught me I was good at something. I was able to form a healthy habit of using poetry as an outlet for expression. I also received very positive reactions whenever someone would see me writing and ask what I was doing, which in a way, made me want to do it even more. I just wanted to get those “oh my goodness”’s and “you’re so talented”’s. But ultimately, now when I am having any type of emotion really, I like to write poetry in my notes on my phone, or if I start fantasizing about anything in particular, I am able to write a short story about it.
From this experience, I use writing as a tool to keep my thoughts from eating away at my brain.