todayNovember 3, 2017

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By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor

I used to keep diaries when I was younger. It was like those diaries knew everything about me. They knew my fears and aspirations. They knew my good times and my bad times. I wrote everything I could in those diaries because it was the only way I knew how to fully express myself. Writing gave me the “voice” that I didn’t have in my day-to-day life. It made me strong, yet vulnerable. Most importantly, writing allowed me to be completely honest with myself. At the time I didn’t realize how important writing was in my life, but now I can say it is everything to me.

“The way to change the world is to change the narrative.”

“Those battles really only saw the pages of a diary thought.” Photo by Jenise Jackson.

One of my English teachers, Mrs. Sisk, used to chant this all the time. It stuck with me profoundly not only because she was my favorite teacher, but my favorite writer as well. When I joined her class, she gave me an article written by a woman who had lived her whole life with Tourette Syndrome. The article highlighted the struggle of this woman’s journey through life with the disorder, and how she accomplished things that people told her she never could. It was an emotional and honest piece and it was written by Mrs. Sisk herself.

Although I had no idea what it was like to live with Tourette’s, the writing from the article was relatable because I wrote about a lot of the battles I faced too. But, those battles really only saw the pages of a diary. I was a decent writer when it came to education, but Mrs. Sisk saw a talent that went far beyond her assigned essays. She challenged me to use my writing to bring light to the issues I faced or the things that bothered me because she was sure someone else could relate or it could make them change. She made me realize that writing isn’t always a one-way street. So writing may be my therapy, but it could also be one of my readers’ remedy. Sometimes, I may write about controversial topics, but sometimes it takes controversy to make a difference. That’s all the more reason to keep using my gift.

I may never be an award-winning writer. My writing may never get noticed outside of San Marcos and its surrounding areas. And that’s okay with me. I appreciate the platform that KTSW has given me. I’ve had the opportunity to share some of my stories with an actual audience instead of just lined sheets of paper. My “voice” is now able to speak a little louder and I know I am being heard. When I am weary of the ways of the world, I can write about it and hope that it gets people to think about our reality. My writing has connected me with people I wouldn’t even know otherwise. I am completely open and honest with the writing I put out. In some instances, writing for me is the like the air I breathe. I couldn’t live without it.

All of this is #WhyIWrite.

Featured image by Asia Daggs.

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