How My Writing Changed: 1980’s-2018

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Hi Readers and a happy Saturday to you! Today, I wanted to write something really personal and near and dear to me-my writing. This is no hat-trick as I was nudged to do something of the sort a couple of days ago when I saw Google’s graphic ode to Virginia Woolfe, a favorite author of mine. The idea of reflecting on my writing evolution came into my sight again when I saw a lovely blog post on IntheFrow (See HERE). She reflected how her style grew and evolved in the last five years, which was awesome. So this post is a fun baby of those two events.

Kindergarten

I was a precocious child and my parents and teachers knew it. Some of my earliest memories were drawing on our rented house walls (my parents were obviously not pleased) so I could document my thoughts and imagination for all to see. Other memories involve making two holes on that wall with my older sister’s protractor and compass (yes, you read that right) and creating lines that I called “intersected with each other”. Some playful memories include me imagining jumping of the balcony to see how far I would fly before I would plummet to the ground, making curved lines in my school notebooks and asking the teacher, “can space be curved?” and having a discussion with my now-called college friend, Lillian (she was in America at the time) about creating a “pun” movement. I remember laughing at the word “literally” because it sounded like “literary” and how fun it would be to play with words like that. Lillian and our mothers came up with calling the “movement” a “pun” because it sounded like “bun” taken from “bun in the oven”, a phrase which I was told at the time was “weighted” or contained words that have another meaning. So the WORD “pun” was a “pun” in itself. It is a literary play on a WORD NOT A PHRASE. Genius? Thank you. That’s how the pun movement started between two girls and two mothers. Upon research, I discovered there are other types of puns as well. The following site is a good source to learn about figurative language (See HERE).  Anyways, it all culminated to my mom talking to my kindergarten teacher and her recommending I continue my studies in the USA.

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Elementary School

I did all of my elementary school in Pakistan. As I progressed in school, my vocabulary improved and I gained the necessary motor skills to write poems. I wrote my first poem at the age of 6-7. It was titled “My Cat” where I talked about my imaginary cat and how I had to take care of her. I was clearly impressed with Enid Blyton to write in such an imaginative manner at that age. Then a man I barely knew asked me to write a poem on him. And I wrote a poem called “My Uncle” (which got published in US Magazine-a children’s magazine in Pakistan) and even though it was not about him in particular, my subject in mind were all the uncles who participated in my growth till then. That’s where, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, my knack for symbolism developed.

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Middle School and High School

Something happened after I moved to United States, where I just stopped writing. This was a conscious decision on my part because I was so excited I was finally here to continue my education. I intentionally decided to absorb everything instead. I was on the receiving end of all sorts of information, from news on the television, to conversations I had with family and friends, to books that were assigned to me in school-I was a sponge to all of it. This the period I produced the least amount of personal literature. However, I still have school assignments that remind me how much I loved doing them.

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College and Post-College

College was a real growing up experience for me as all sorts of people came in and went out. This is the time when one finds themselves and I got lost in the waves of emotions I felt. Compounded with that were events like September 11 and The Iraq War, which just made me feel unsafe. That’s when I let go of any hope to continue my personal writing. I didn’t feel like myself and I knew if I wrote, the writings wouldn’t be authentic, but a projection of other people’s opinions. However, being in college classes surrounded by literature fiends like myself, I felt happy. I also wrote many essays on published works, which was a blast.

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Blogging

In 2010, I discovered the world of blogging. It was a fairly embryonic trend at the time, but I thought since my typing skills were good, I should type my thoughts instead of writing them. On a psychological level at the time, written words by a pen connected more to me and my soul and I didn’t want to delve into that abyss at the time. My first blog was called “Lists of Life’s Pleasures”, but I deliberately added a “z”, which is the beginning letter of my middle name instead of an “s” , which is the beginning letter of my first name, because subconsciously I didn’t want people to know it was me writing it at all. I wanted it to be something private, something personal that people stumble upon. I stopped writing that blog in 2013 because I got tired of just creating lists as a creative outlet, no matter how creative it was (lol). Then in 2017, I started All About Sana blog and I can finally say that it is a true, authentic piece of my heart that I share with the world. All the opinions woven in my blog posts are my own and no one else’s, which makes me soo proud. I hope you are enjoying my creation.

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Well guys, I hope you connected and learned something about literature in this post. Maybe someday I will post the poems I wrote back in my youth. Till then happy reading and writing!