Challenge Journal: Writing from Experience

Sometimes I feel so hesitant to write that the very thought of pulling out my laptop feels overwhelming. Other times, I feel like the words pour out of me. Today is one of those days. Perhaps my long hiatus is finally ending. All I know is that Mercury is in retrograde and I have surely felt it. (Ask me about my weekend if you are skeptical of Mercury’s strength). Anyways, today I woke up and felt inspired by the gloomy day to finally get my sh*t together.

I started writing an actual piece for the actual thing! Wow! The piece is a narrative from an experience I had two summers ago when I interned at a law firm for the first time. It’s easy to remember my emotions at that time because the event was so frustrating. I will remember it for the rest of my life. However, I found it somewhat challenging to instill this emotion into my writing. I want my readers to feel angry after reading the piece. I need them to feel the frustration that I felt. If they feel nothing after reading it, I have failed.

For some inspiration, I looked way back to a piece I wrote in English 125. The paper was about my frustration with people who don’t understand invisible disabilities. I was inspired by the hundreds of looks my family has received as we park in handicap parking and my seemingly healthy mother gets out of the car. As I re-read this piece, I recalled how fast I was typing when I wrote it. I was angry. My first draft was filled with so many typing errors because my fingers could not keep up with my thoughts. It was my first time opening up about my personal life on a piece of paper.

I think I need to channel this anger once more to achieve my current goal. While the words have been pouring out of me, I have hit a small road block in my overall delivery of the story. I want to make sure people “get it,” but I also want it to read smoothly. Perhaps I should write from my anger first and then worry about editing later.

Have you ever written a piece straight from experience? How did you infuse it with emotion?

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