Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Megg as a Teen: Sacred Writing Spot

If you've read my old posts, you know I grew up on a farm. Two and a half miles from town doesn't seem far - but it was. My brother and sister are six and eight years older than me, so I was pretty much on my own as a kid. Well, not totally, my mom was at home with me (my dad worked a lot), but I spent a lot of time by myself in my room.

<--- That's my daughter and I standing at the top of my dad's new grain bin.

Writing was always a big part of my life, but as the angsty teen years crept up on me (okay, so maybe they slammed into me like a freight train) my writing exploded. Suddenly I had all sorts of feelings to write about. It wasn't pretty. Here's an excerpt of song lyrics I wrote:

When I'm all alone
I just think of you
And the way it could be
If you loved me too

(There is obviously a good reason I'm not a poet.)

But, to teen me, those were deep lyrics. So, so deep and meaningful. I wrote lyrics to more than fifty songs. Want to know where I wrote them?

In my closet.

Yep, in my closet. I grew up in an old farmhouse, the same one my grandma was born in. Yeah, you read that right. My grandma was born IN the house. Because my sister and I had to share a room, we were given the traditional master bedroom because it was bigger than the other two. Our bedroom had a walk-in closet. It was old, covered in cracked, peeling paint (most likely filled with lead). The orange carpet worn thin from years of women standing in it, wondering what to wear. The door didn't close all the way, but I would pull it shut as tightly as possible. Then it creaked its way open, just a tidge, until the tiniest stream of light shined inside it.

I'd write in there for hours at a time. Lyrics, short stories and poems (which actually got better as I got older, but I'm very protective of my poetry because I don't want anyone to tell me how horrendous it is). I didn't tackle a real novel until the late 1990's.

So it's no wonder that when I write now I still like to cocoon myself, whether it's with music blasting in my ears, wrapped up in my bed, or writing in total darkness with nothing other than the glow of my laptop and candle. 

There are secrets in my closet than no one will ever find. Distant memories, some precious, others I'd rather forget, float in veiled silence.

And now? I have a walk-in closet but I can't write in there. Not because my kids would think I'm weird (they already do), but because there's too many pairs of shoes in there. :)


  1. Megg, publish your teen poems and songs!

    Regulars over at MWi will know I have two teen writers (just 15 and 16) who do monthly guest spots for me. And what I love about them is that they are fresh, original and unburdened by rules.

    When I'm all alone
    I just think of you
    And the way it could be
    If you loved me too

    Megg, as an adult you look at that old stuff with the blinkered eyes of too much experience, too many editorial critiques and too much concern over other people's perceptions.

    Poetry (and much prose) can often benefit from NOT being man-handled by editors, fixers and polishers.

    Sometimes simplicity and honesty are perfect for the job. Poetry (or songs) do not need to be Shakespeare. They just need to be heartfelt and sincere. Let the inner child and inner teen back up for air now and again!

    That's why Anathema is so special. The inner teen shines through. It's YA written by the inner YA.

  2. The closet eh? Funnily enough, I can actually imagine that being a good writing spot. However, as I don't have one, I like my bean bag, which takes up most of my floor space, but is very comfy.

    I do go under the bed sometimes too, though. Though it does earn me some funny looks from my parents xD

    As for being a poet, I've been told I'm good, but I'm still exceedingly protective of anything I write that I don't think is "good enough". But I'm an insecure teenager, so it's all good right? Hahaha ;P

    I don't actually think that little snippet of yours is bad at all! You should see some of the poems that are lurking around my room. The ones when I was twelve seem to be attempting to be sad and meaningful, but the rhymes make it seem I was going for comedy ... the result is really rather sickening xP

    - Charley R, MW's aforementioned 16-year-old minion ;)

    P.S. Going to stalk Anathaema now. Sounds like my kind of book ...

  3. Mark - You're awesome - but I am never publishing my lyrics. Whereas my writing now isn't about anyone I know in real life, ALL my lyrics & poetry are about real people. Yeah, can't do that. ;)

    Charley - Great to see you here!!! I always get so excited when I hear about teens writing. I just hope you're not allergic to dust...writing under the bed...ACHOO! LOL Being Mark's minion is very cool. Lucky you! :)