What Are You Writing?

what are you writing

My name is Samantha Marie Bohnert. I enjoy the snow, words, adventures, writing letters and finding something new to dream of daily. I have been a writer since I could put pen (or pencil) to paper, and I am inspired by many things, from the way the light hits my toes in the morning to the sounds of my surroundings. I live in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio; a city that has kept my heart safe and follows me wherever I go. My love for coveting what is beautiful—and sharing that beauty with those around me—brings me happiness, always. Well, I’m a writer. To put it more honestly, I am a person who derives joy from words, organizing them in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and comprehensible. If I have had any kind of self-proclaimed identity, and not one that others have given me (“bubbly,” “irreverent,” one who speaks with a certain “frequency”), it would be that I am a writer, through and through. Teachers of my past, whose goal was to inculcate me as something significant: instructor, artist, or even a poet, were some of my biggest supporters. My mother told me that my second grade teacher said I wrote at a level well beyond my years, and I can still remember the look on my 6th grade teacher’s face when I handed him a 72-page story, to which he quite bluntly informed me that while impressed, he wouldn’t have time to read completely. And at this point I should specify that I am speaking about writing of the creative persuasion. I would write short stories, the beginnings of a novel, stream of consciousness, but rarely poetry; poetry was something I admired from afar, like acting, or singing that sounds good outside of a shower. I wrote as much as I read, so my youth was cloaked in verbiage and a world’s supply of notebook paper.

But alas, there came a time when I plateaued. The last time I can remember writing with fervor was around 12 years old. Writing succumbed to a similar fate as my love of reading (to prevent regurgitation, please refer to a recent WAYR post). Looking back on it, I think I just ran out of material. A hopeless romantic since kindergarten, my stories were where lovers went to die, à la Romeo and Juliet, but incredibly juvenile. I wasn’t experiencing much and I was trapped in a romantic prison of my own making. It was probably best that I stopped writing, because I was missing it. I was missing that very thing that writers have. This is not to suggest that I knew what that thing was, because I haven’t figured it out yet, but I knew I was missing it. I also knew I needed a break to live some sort of life outside of books and other writers’ made-up stories. It was a long break, potentially never ending.

But one day, just a few short months ago, I started to feel like a girl of 12 again, with a 28-year-old girl’s experiences. Every breath, every excruciating moment, and all of the uncontrollable peals of laughter have brought me full circle, and with a fresh perspective. All I want to do is write, and while it’s a terrifying thing to wonder whether or not I’m good at this, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care. I care about saying something, moving mountains, causing a stir, and being honest. I care about showing that I see the world as extraordinary, and also showing others that simple things are worthy of note. Even the tiniest, seemly insignificant and overlooked event has a story.

Example: for the past few months I have walked by the same concierge on my way to work. And though our exchange has only ever been a nod from him and a cordial “hi” under my breath, I’ve realized that his existence is something to be celebrated. His kindness, his sincerity, and the fact that he seems to unapologetically love his job, is fascinating to me. I could immortalize his blip of space in my life, because he epitomizes what I want to do as writer. I want to say thank you to everything for just being, and for allowing me to take all of it and spin it however I choose. Perhaps in my story of him he’d have an accent, or maybe he would carry on weekly conversations with me, or maybe I’d write him exactly as he is. The world is mine to mold, all the while keeping in mind that there is a fine line between writing in a way that shows that I can see the world as it actually is, and what it could be. Writing is a process, and there is a comfort in knowing that none of it will be perfect. Passion never is. It is a chore, it takes work, and it’s a fight, but a good fight that shows it’s worth something. I’m a writer, and I have no idea what I am doing. And maybe knowing that is the infamous it.

Luckily, there are many, many talented women who will hopefully 1) tell me what they do to be successful writers; 2) share their experiences with me concerning the toils and troubles they face from holding steadfast to the “writer” persona like I do; and 3) tell me what they believe it to be. I look forward to using this space as a place to meet “ladies of letters,” a moniker I’d like to patent once I figure out how one does that. I’d also like to take this opportunity to revel in the talent of other writers who like to talk about writing. Ideally, I’ll learn a little something. Realistically…well that is to be determined.