Monday, September 7, 2009

My first story

I rummaged through my old trunk this weekend. Somehow, through dozens of moves across oceans and continents, I have managed to hold on to this trunk and its contents for over 20 years. It has somehow survived several planned and a couple of unplanned purgings of my personal possessions. I have gone through the contents of this trunk dozens of times in the last decade, so I was quite surprised to discover something in it that had somehow escaped my notice for the past few decades. It was this:

A short story I must have written when I was around 7 or 8 years old. As I read it, I was struck by how bold I must have been at that age to sit down and create a story. How bold that little girl was to place it somewhere for safekeeping for all of these years. What happened to that boldness? When did she stop creating? When did she lose her confidence?

OK, to be completely honest, the plot was lacking a bit, but there was a discernible climax, and the opening was pretty dramatic. Some of the writing was even quite descriptive and evocative. I found myself wishing I could hug my younger self. I want to encourage and nurture her. I want to tell her that she shows true promise. I wish I could help her find people who would encourage her to pursue her dreams, and I wish I could protect her from the criticism from without and within that will silence her for thirty years. Most of all, I wish to borrow some of her boldness.

I wish I could tell her that she does have something worth saying, stories worth sharing with the world no matter how much she believes she might not. I wish I could tell her that she is unique and fascinating and has a quirky way of looking at the world that is worth sharing. I want to tell her to hold on to that boldness no matter what.

I want to tell her thank-you for sharing some of that boldness with me. I will keep her in my heart and my mind, and I will bring forth her boldness whenever the whispers of self-doubt grow into screams. I honor her by showing up on the page, even when I don't want to - especially when I don't want to.

What words of wisdom or encouragement would you pass on to your younger artist? How do you honor her?


  1. Oh, Stefanie, you are a wonderful writer! This post brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could tell my artist (wannabe writer) child the same things. I'm so happy for you, that you found that story. What a tender moment for you and your artist child! I hope you cherish that story forever -- and write many, many, many more to cherish and to show your artist child you believe in her vision, now more than ever.

  2. p.s. and I'll tell her if you won't, "You do have something worth saying!"

  3. what a wonderful treasure that is .. thanks for sharing

  4. a precious find! yes, she certainly does have something worth saying ~

  5. how wonderful that you still have this reminder

  6. A child's imagination is something else, isn't it? We are so filled with imagination and no fear. That is great you found that story.

    Great post!

  7. What a wonderful find. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Such a wonderful post :)