How I keep calm: writing

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How have you been keeping calm during the pandemic? Carillon

Inspired by HeyAlma.com, How I keep calm is our new series featuring different ways students are finding peace and contentment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

By Rayanne Gwilliam, Contributor

Something I enjoy doing is taking time to create something. I’m especially prone to the more abstract types of art because I like the simplicity of it. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s one hobby and form of art that doesn’t have any thinking or plan involved in doing (which is a rare treat for me, trust me). 

One of my major creative outlets is writing. It’s a form of expression that is completely unique to the tone and use of language by the author, and perception of the reader. It’s an outlet that can spark inspiration from anywhere and anything. 

Sometimes, being in a stressful experience leads to thoughts and emotions that need to be expressed in a personal journal entry. Or sometimes I want to avoid boredom – or worse – indulge in fantasy, escape from the reality of the world for a bit and write a fictional piece. I have ‘pros and cons’ lists to make decisions, to-do lists to organize my daily priorities and keep a routine. No matter the circumstance, there’s a way for me to write what needs to be written in order to cope with things. 

There are times when everyone feels, lonely, or misunderstood, invisible, etc. But there will never be a circumstance in which a pen and paper, or a keyboard would deny me a release when I need it. Plus, if you’re a student, you probably already have any supplies you’d need, even though I’m not the type of person to carry a notebook around with me and wear a pencil behind my ear. Cheap hobbies with few materials are a blessing to have, especially if they help you cut back on retail therapy. 

As for when I discovered I enjoyed writing? It was such a staple in the school curriculum I couldn’t tell you; it has always been there. But I remember and still experience the same feelings, the self confidence in what I had to present. Where perfection is no longer a thought or a concern, I feel the closest to such a standard. I don’t care to compare myself to other writers – I know I’m no Shakespeare, Frost or Angelou. My writing is simply an authentic form of expression, personal to me. 

Of course, writing is hardly the only way to keep calm and, truth be told, there are plenty of times when I don’t. I embrace my fidgety nature, my inability to concentrate, my racing thoughts  and I just move. I get up, I pace, dance around; there’s no shame in simply refusing to sit and let yourself keep thinking, or lay down and rest if that’s what you need.

But for me, at the end of the day, I find myself back where I started – with words to say and a page to put them on.

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