Jessica Standifird

Writing Means . . . .

Writing for me began with a love for the sound of language. Writing silly songs with my mom as a child. Mom reading poetry aloud. I listened, mimicked, and found words I loved elongating just to play with their sound. We explore first with our mouths. When I picked up a pencil and began writing stories as a child, I felt the rush of language pouring from my arm onto the page, leaving me, ideas and feelings finding a place to be at rest. To be found.

The first time I wrote about being abused I curled into the fetal position and rocked back and forth on my bedroom floor, crying. I was fourteen. I had never felt the strength of this kind of release. I wasn't crying because I'd been abused, I was crying because I'd found somewhere other than my body and mind to put it, a place for it to lay still. To rest.

The first time I read in public I read a poem. I don't know which one, I just remember the page in front of me scarred by being clutched in my fingers, the sound of it crinkling, shaking in the silent room, the tightness of my throat as my voice raced ahead of my thoughts, and the heat in my face and arms. After I read several people said they related to my piece. I was hooked. Connection.

Writing is cathartic. Writing is healing. Connecting. Finding a place to be at rest. To be found.

My goal as an author is to introduce others to all of the possibilities writing can offer.


What does writing mean to you?

Are you a writer? A reader? I'd love to hear what writing means to you. How did you find the page?