I honestly can’t remember a time when writing was not part of me. Even before I formally learned the craft, I was writing. I have a little note that was dated 1983 (so, I was 3-ish) on which I wrote ‘Oma’ -the Dutch word for grandmother- at least that’s what it said in my mind (it’s in the picture, see what you think of my early penmanship). That is the first piece of my writing that I still own. So, writing has definitely been with me for a very long time.
As a teenager I started writing a lot more. I wrote poetry, and long and pretty dark journal entries. I still have a few of those notebooks, and sometimes I still look through them and reflect on my journey. In my early 30s I finally started coming to terms with the emotional abuse that I grew up with. That is when journaling, and therewith writing, really became a lifeline. Writing about my memories, my emotions, venting my anger… it was the only way I knew how to get all the pain out of my system. In 2014 I co-founded SwanWaters, that is when writing really became part of my daily life. First in the form of blog posts and articles, and finally in 2017 in the form of a book about journaling… Writing about writing, how poetic 😉
When I was working on my book I started working with the amazing Carrie Maya, who has been my editor, writing coach, right hand chick and soul sister ever since (I love you, dude!). She encourages me always to keep working on my craft. Although I write non-fiction, she still invited me to join #aprillitwriton Instagram.
And it was through this initiative that I started writing my story. Although not fictional (in places unbelievable, but unfortunately true) it is still a story, with a character. Not a story about a fictional main character, but stories about myself.