Home > Writing and Poetry > Writing and personal cleansing

Writing and personal cleansing

I read Mikki Sadil’s blog today and her question as to why do you, meaning me, write. What is it, she wanted to know, that forces you to write?

I thought long and hard about that question. I turned it this way and that, looking at all the nooks and crannies to find the definitive answer just for me. And until I sat down here a few minutes ago, I hadn’t found that answer yet. That’s when it hit me.

I have always put words to paper, from the time I could ride a bus by myself to school.  By the time I’d lived 12 years I had written my first play. Not a very good play, mind you, but a play about being in a play. Even then I liked subplots. At 12 I wrote my first romance novel.

Yes, I did. I read it again several years ago and surprised myself. It showed amazing maturity for one so young. There was immaturity there, too, but the MC was young, so her immaturity needed to show. I have to admit, I was always too old for my age.

But I had an insatiable need to write down stories about people and their lives and problems. You could ask why I never pursued it until now, so many years later. Lack of support and understanding and encouragement. That’s the true answer. Well, that and fear; fear of disapproval from the family, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing any sense of self that I might have had.

There were probably those and several more in the mix on any given day. The two times I tried to make a concerted stab at the profession, I got shot down in flames from those I cared for most and rather than fight for myself, I folded and gave it up.

Until now. Now I have nothing to lose by following my desperate need to write down my stories so that others may find entertainment. Now I can become the person who has hidden inside me for as long as I’ve known how to take a No. 2 pencil and place it on  goldenrod  tablet. Now I can satisfy those longings of self-expression that clamor to get out during the night. All of these things are true for me.

But back to the original question. Why do I write. I write to cleanse my soul. In writing my thoughts, dreams and aspirations I come close to seeing who I really am. In writing those thoughts that come from so deep within that I don’t know what I’ve written until I’ve finished and reread the paragraphs, I glimpse the me that God knows.

I’ve begun to know myself much better than ever before, and I’m beginning to understand exactly what motivated me during those lonely, wordless years when I denied myself the pleasure and necessity of writing. If I accomplish little else but this last item, writing will have served a good purpose.

It will have shown the most important viewer, me,  the reasons behind the word pictures and the true meanings behind the converstaions within the covers. For that, in the long race, is my objective. I write in order to know me and to show others who I really am in this world. The next world isn’t a problem. I figure everyone there will be able to see the true face of each soul and won’t need the explanation.

After all, even Steven King writes about his own fears, which brings up another interesting question. What personal fears or dreams do you reveal with each story you finish?

Just curious.


  1. RP
    March 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Hello Claudsy, this may seem ridiculous, but what exactly do you remember about Goldenrod Tablets? Other than nostalgia I cannot explain why it is important for me to verify the details I remember, but somehow it is important to me. Generally I remember using these pads as an elementary school student in the early to mid 60’s and that I was very fond of using them. What do you remember about them Claudsy?

    • claudsy
      March 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Well, RP, I do remember Goldenrod tablets, and as of fifteen years ago, they were still being made.

      I remember the broad strokes of those fat, soft pencil leads, making their marks across the lined page. Those lines were separated by enough space to allow for the larger than life letters that teacher so arduously drilled into us.

      I remember the cardboard smell of them when they were new and the fact that only students could have the tablets. To have one meant that you’d grown old enough to leave home each day, to sit in a classroom with other “old-enough” kids and watch and listen to teacher who stood straight and important in front of the blackboard.

      I also remember how pencil lines blurred when they got wet on that paper. And that boys always seemed to forget their tablets at home in the morning and needed to borrow sheets from other students so they could do their work.

      The tablets and requisite pencils always represented a milestone for a kid. The child had arrived at that place where babyhood evaporated and responsibility ensued.

      By the same token, when we graduated to middle school (aka junior high,) we left those dandelion-colored tablets behind for bright white lined paper in binders. It never seemed quite the same, writing on binder paper. But that activity, in and of itself, proved another milestone.

      Hope my answers help. That’s about all I have on Goldenrod tablets.


  2. RP
    March 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you Claudsy! I think you’re right, by Junior High I was using looseleaf paper as well. I dimly recall learning block letters (printing) on exercise sheets the teacher passed around in First Grade. I don’t recall when I learned cursive, but by Second or Third Grade I think I was writing on Goldenrod tablets. I loved the smell of the paper and “dandelion” exactly describes the color. I also remember that the pads had perhaps as many as 200 sheets of that wonderfully cheap pulpy paper and that the cover had a ‘Goldenrod’ plant design with the name spelled out. I googled this and you’d be amazed how little information there is on the net about it. I could not find any photos. It seems ‘Goldenrod’ tablets were in use very early on in the 20th century, so if they were made as late as 15 years ago, they had a good long run. I’m pretty sure my Mom used to buy them at the ‘five and dime’. You’re absolutely correct, learning how to write was an accomplishment. I think that’s why I so fondly remember this tool of childhood. Your reply is much appreciated!

    • claudsy
      March 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      I’d forgotten about the front cover. I think you’re right on that one. Those milestones that we treasure are gone now. Kids grow up so fast and with such advantages of technology that in a few decades, I doubt they’ll know what writing is all about and that it begins with a pencil and moves up to pens. They might not need to have that skill in the future.

      That’s a scary thought. Have a great week, and pop in anytime.


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