Writing Autobiography: Word Vomit
I had been sitting in a dermatologist’s office, a bright and vibrantly colorful room, with nothing but a few sheets of paper and a dull pencil waiting for my mother to get some expensive and unneeded procedure done when my life drastically changed. The dermatologist’s office was out of town and nowhere near anything close enough to walk to and hang out at, and because I had just turned fourteen, I didn’t have a driver’s license or a car to escape the most boring situation that I’ve ever been in. There was no one in the room, except for the receptionist at the front desk quietly typing away on her keyboard, and there was nothing else in the room that could possibly entertain me for the few hours it was going to take my mom to finish her cosmetic procedure. I stared at the clock waiting for what seemed like several lifetimes, for the ever-so-slowly minute hand to take its sweet time to move just a tad bit over and because I didn’t feel like doodling on my paper and was left with nothing else to do, I began to write.
Words appeared on my few pages of college-ruled binder paper like an overheated bag of microwaved popcorn kernels jumping out of the buttered contraption that served as a disposable bowl. I had the insatiable and most random urge to scribble down adjectives that described me, my feelings, and the beautifully decorated and brightly lit waiting room, that had somehow managed to fuel my creativity, and force it out of me through the written word. I had no idea why I was suddenly painting pictures of a dermatologist’s office with prose and poetry, and I was a little worried when I realized that I couldn’t bring myself to stop. It was as if this buildup of this wonderful and magical writing inspiration within me was now spewing out through my hand and onto the page through the cheap number two pencil that I found somewhere in my mother’s car. Why couldn’t I stop this literary madness? And who falls in love with writing?
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was never going to be able to stop writing. From that point onward, short stories, poems, unfinished novels, and random pieces of lost prose came flooding out of my cheap ballpoint pens. I wrote when I was sad. I wrote when I was happy, or when I was bored or confused. I wrote to figure out problems, to think, and to feel all the intensely-lit hot-bed of swirling emotions that came and went as I moved like a ticking clock through the complexities of life. I had undoubtedly, with my whole heart, soul, and being, fell in love with writing my insane thoughts down with whatever available writing utensil that was laying around, and (as far as I know right now) will never stop.
Now, I had always enjoyed writing ever since I was introduced to the concept that language and words could be brought together through a combination of the simple yet complex letters of the alphabet, but I had never wrote with such passion and emotion until I had sat down that fateful day in the dermatologist’s office. I knew nothing of the feverish need to communicate to imaginary people through my unstoppable stream of word vomit until I sat down on the bright blue, and well cushioned, cloth seat and felt bored out of my mind in that stunning office. I did, however, carry this feeling and passion on with me to college, through my years as an architecture student, and finally as an English major at Cal Poly Pomona, and stumbled into a course that, would again, change my life as a writer forever.
English 303, taught by Dr. Kraemer, immersed me in rhetorical styles I have seen but never actually used myself in my personal writing. I was suddenly inspired by Dr. Kraemer and the persuasive phrases written in our assigned readings to find my voice and use it in order to become a better writer. It was during those ten weeks that the sarcastic, sometimes witty, and unmistakable literary voice of Jasmine D. Lowe was born and first used to call attention to all the strange thoughts that were dancing around in my head. My blog entries had changed, my academic papers weren’t as boring as they were before, and even my diary became a juicy place for wandering eyes to read a very saturated, yet savory, container of stories soaked in rhetorical devices. It was also in that class that I had written a very all-encompassing essay and was made aware of how I write:
I never actually think about what I’m going to write before I actually write it. There is an initial idea before I unlock my thoughts and expel my creative unorganized vomit on to the page, but there is never any preparation time set aside for the task ahead. The drops of words splattered onto the piece of paper are usually just presented as a colorful mess. I never quite pull myself together until I’m fairly sure that I have gotten all of the words out, and it’s only then when I attempt to mop up the pile of lexical puzzles, wring it out into a separate holding area, and then reorganize the mess onto the blank surface.
There is no real order to how I write. I just assume that what’s oozing out of me will get washed down the drain anyways if I don’t direct it onto a sheet of paper. I spend some time adding other ingredients to my writing, mixing ideas together and seasoning my work with precise measurements of delicate adjectives. My writing is usually the result of a happy accident that has found its way out of my pen. I find myself throughout the day quickly trying to catch the spewing thoughts from my mind onto a small note pad or stray piece of paper. The initial draft is an incredible muddle of chaos that I later try to funnel into a more coherent product (A Recipe for A Writer).
Word vomit spewing from my leaky pen would forever be my favorite way to express how I believe I write, and the passion that I reserved for the flowing words would only strengthen as time went on. It was a spark of inspiration that lit the fuse for my undying love of writing, and it was the kindling of a very stimulating class that took my writing to a whole other level. I, of course, gradually progressed to the somewhat decent writer that I believe I am to be, but if it wasn’t for a dermatologist’s office’s waiting room and Dr. Kraemer’s English 303 class, I wouldn’t be the writer that I am (or possibly the person) that speaks through these odd and somewhat interesting arrangement of letters today.