"Yes I act - but I was a writer first & foremost..." Nikki D Lovely
I've been writing since I was old enough to put sentences together. When I was in grade school, I won a speech and story writing competitions my school would have throughout the year. My first being a 'Black History' event. I remember winning a small stipend and certificate - and from that day forward I knew there was something to this writing 'thang.' Until 4th grade that is. 4th grade I was accused of plagiarism by a visiting author my teacher had invited to the class.
She'd made us all write a poem and share it. I was so proud of my little poem about spring, and all the animals emerging from their slumber because Spring had come, that I remember reading it and smiling. The kids loved it, and by the looks of it - so did she. Until she said, "That was amazing. You didn't write that." That's when my little heart sank! I most certainly had! She saw me sit there and write it! I'd thought. Other kids took up for me with the same sentiment.
"That's not what I mean. You probably heard that somewhere else, and your mind just stored it not knowing you'd heard it somewhere else." No lady. I wrote that shit!
I battled this argument in my head, then took to crying. The author was calling me a liar - and that hurt. I realized later that day that I should have taken it for the compliment it was - despite her intent.
In high school, I wrote a set of poetry and soft-core short stories that the girls would always pass around the school. I never knew who I would get my stories from next as those journals stayed going from hand to hand - until - one day, I was in class, and one of the football players started passing around a 'different journal' everyone seemed very interested in.
"Look at what my girlfriend wrote." He said with pride as he passed around her journal. The entire class gushed at the wordings, and gave each other high fives. I was now very intrigued.
"Can I see it?" I asked. I wanted to read this new author - maybe exchange notes and be friends! He passed me her notebook.
As my eyes combed over the words in her handwriting, I felt my heart drop. They weren't just some foreign random words on a paper I'd never seen before - nope. They were all my words - now written in her journal - and now in her handwriting. She had asked to see my journal last, and I was heartbroken.
"This is my shit." I said to the class. They all looked at each other disparagingly. I thought about tearing the entire notebook up, but I could tell she had put countless hours into copying my shit, and there was no way I could just do that to my work. Those were my babies. So instead of hurting them - I allowed them to live in someone else's journal.
"I would curse her out." One of the other girls advised.
Nah. I was too sweet for that; Instead, I took out a pen and I signed every single page of 'her' poetry journal in front of everyone. I was not a liar. I was not a plagerist- but she was.
From there I started writing for the high school newspaper, and performing in pageants. I didn't do pageants for the dress-up and make-up though. I lived for the talent competitions. All i wanted to do was write and perform my own poetry.
In college, I started in journalism and TV production, and then specialized in screenwriting when I went back to get my Master's - and then afterwards I got side-tracked with life.
I became a mommy again and then there was no more time for words. All my words were being given to a little one, and a man who didn't ever hear me. I got tired, and drew up into a cocoon. I stopped talking, I stopped writing, and ultimately - I just stopped feeling altogether.
A funny thing happens to you when you suppress the very thing in you that typically makes you feel alive - a part of you dies. For years, my writing flatlined. My mind was so boggled down with distractions that I never could actually sit down and ... WRITE! However, I'm very excited about what's to come. Those distractions are no longer here, and I plan on doing brain dumps back to the page, for as long as my mind will let me.
This little writer is here to stay and I hope you enjoy the ride with me.