COLUMN: Writing collection full of memories

Move to new home unearths boxes of written memories.

How did I get so much paper?

It’s the question I keep asking myself as I pack up box after box to move to my new home.

I have so much paper it’s insane.

I’ve had to carry box after box to the recycling bin. That bin got a lot of feedings this month as I continue to sort through the paper that has accumulated in the apartment I rented over the last four years.

Perhaps it’s the curse of a writer who likes to feel the flow of pen ink onto paper, instead of using the computer to write the majority of my own work.

Despite the volume of paper that went into the recycling bin, there is still a ton of paper that I am hanging onto.

I’ve found random thoughts scribbled on torn pieces of paper, or pieces of sticky notes, or in the margins of notebooks.

These thoughts have never been seen by the public eye. They are never read by anyone but me. I continue to work on them in my free hours.

But, I find as a reporter, when I come home sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit down and do more writing, even if it is for myself. For now, these thoughts remain in the pages of my personal books.

Perhaps, one day, when I feel they are complete I will attempt to share them. Perhaps those few paragraphs will become a book.

The tragedy is that when I neglect my own writing my work becomes more laboured.

Working on my own creations opens up a section of my mind that makes my feature reporting more creative and interesting.

I notice that if I don’t work on my own stuff at home, it becomes more difficult to put together a creative piece for the paper.

When I have done a lot of my own writing over several weeks, my creativity is unlocked and my newspaper pieces are more interesting, more concise and I am proud to have my name on them.

When I don’t, I feel my work isn’t at the level I want it to be.

Maybe that’s the curse of every writer. They don’t feel their work is ever good enough. I view my work in this manner when my I lack a personal creative outlet.

I’ve kept journals of writing since I was a child and cart them with me whenever I move.

I have a journal for high school and one for university. There is also a book full of thoughts written down in my working career.

It’s kind of nice to revisit the work I did when I was little and see how my style and voice have changed over the years.

The work also reminds me of different events in my life.

It always makes me a bit sad to come to a particular page in one of my secondary school journals.

One of my friends wrote her poem in my journal because we both loved poetry and she was willing to share.

That friend died a year later in a tragic accident. She slipped on a cliff face while hiking and fell to her death.

I view her poem scrawled in the book with a mixture of happiness and sadness. It’s a reminder of everything we had in common and a unique keepsake that I will never throw away.

She had a writer’s gift  and I often wonder what she would have done with that gift if she had lived.

Perhaps she would now be a famous author. Or maybe she would choose not to pursue the writer’s path at all.

But for now I have neatly packed her poem away into another little box with the rest of my writing, tied neatly with a black satin ribbon.

There are pages upon pages of scribbled thoughts that perhaps one day I will try to share with others.

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read