Why I Write

I started off as a reader. Mom used to read Nancy Drew books to me before bed, and somehow I collected over 30 of the hard yellow backed mystery books. I guess you would say that was step one. I don’t remember when I first started writing. I think it just gradually shifted when I realized I could make up my own stories instead of just reading somebody else’s. Since then, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

High school wasn’t really the best for me. Not really having friends was the norm. Obviously part of that was growing up in a country where having an American my age was rare. Comparing it to the friends I have now, I was a lonely kid. It was Jenna, Michael, and myself. It’s sad to think that the people who used to be your whole world can so easily be snatched away, whether in distance or in spirit. To cope with the lack of companionship, I turned to my writing a lot. My stories and the characters in them were sometimes more real to me than the world I actually lived in.

Yet there was one place that has ever remained uninhibited by the outside world. During the Bosnian war, there had been a building on the outskirts of Kobilja Glava that was a partially completed medical facility. After the war broke out in 1992, the building was used as a barricade for the men of the neighborhood. When the war was over, the building remained where it was, and no efforts were ever made to rebuild. And thus it sat, quite embedded in the earth; half sunk, half slunk on the backside of a hill, in a field, in the middle of nowhere, Kobilja Glava. To me, it was the most beautiful place in the world.


I always felt like I could be myself here. No inhibitors or spelling mistakes or hand cramps. My creativity could just flow. I would talk to myself as I explored, planning out wars and battles and fights ending in loss of life or loss of love. I never questioned my own sanity or why I spoke to walls. The inner dialogues could roam free.

I’d bring my backpack, stuffed full of notebooks and pencils and lay it all out on a ratty old blanket somewhere on the second floor. If I got stumped, I’d pace, walking down halls and exploring rooms until my writer’s block had been smashed to pieces and I was running back through rooms and up broken stairs to get back to my notes. Writing always made sense. Sometimes it was the only thing that did.

I’ve found that writing when you’re depressed is sometimes the best medicine. Have you ever noticed that it’s the ones that are hurting that can create the most beautiful art? For some reason, beautiful things come from pain. It makes me think of Van Gogh’s paintings, King David’s poetry, and Mozart’s music. When you’re hurting, there’s a raw emotion that seeps it’s way through your fingers, and bleeds on everything you touch. Your words, your emotions, your work – they’re all living shards of you.

Writing gives me peace. It gives me power. It’s violent and urgent and grotesque and REAL. I am both creator and destroyer. I am both life and death. If a character is too weak, kill them off. Make the reader suffer like I have suffered; like the character has suffered. I can offer hope on a silver tray, and then snatch it away just as quickly. That power that comes with writing is probably one of the reasons I do it. When I have no control over the pain I feel, or the emotions that have gone numb in my chest, I can write. I have control over that. Much like someone who slashes lines into their skin just to feel something, I can control everything, when I am the one writing the script. If I didn’t have my writing, I honestly don’t know if I would even be here. That’s the God-sworn truth.

My dream job has always been to be an author. Before Chesh, the plan was to spend my life alone in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by my dogs, and to write. Now the dream is a little different. It has morphed into spending my life with him in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by dogs and kids, and to write. It’s always been my passion and always be my passion. That doesn’t mean all my writing is dark or depressing. That doesn’t mean all my writing is happy-go-lucky or happy endings. I want to write truth. I’ve always wanted to write truth. A lot of times it’s me working through what I think or feel and trying to relate that to the world around me in a way that makes sense.

Writing is a safe place. Writing is a sanctuary. If I can share that with other people, then maybe I’ll help some others along the way. Don’t fear your inner demons, but let them escape through your pen. That is my redemption. And that is why I write.


I am NOT a good person

DISCLAIMER: I am not a good person.

I present to you this disclaimer for several reasons.

A) As much as I would like to think that I am a good person because I haven’t murdered anyone or that I try not to lie about stuff, it just isn’t true.
B) Being a non-good person doesn’t make me a bad person. It just means I’m human and was born with a desire for selfish intentions; thus I will (almost always) chose myself over other human beings.
C) I would never want to portray myself as anything other than what I am. I suck. On a regular basis. I try really hard to be good and have good thoughts and want to help people all the time, but I fail a lot. A lot of times I do the things I do because I’m down-right lazy. It’s only by the grace of the Big Man Upstairs that I do anything.

Sigh. Ok, now that you all know how much of a non-functional individual I am, let’s get to the point.

On Tuesday of this week, I was a hot-mess. I don’t mean that I had my raccoon eyes on and a bed head and that I was running late to everything. No, I looked fine on the outside, but it was the inside that was a mess. I was annoyed at the world for no apparent reason. I was stressed about a couple of wedding to-do things, and I wanted to either curl into a ball and cry, or run down the street screaming and throwing things. I got through my work day, because I knew if I lost it at work, I would never be able to live that down. These kind of days happen to me more than I would like, and I’m never happy when they happen. It makes me want to wear dark makeup and stare blankly out at the world from my little den of “I-hate-everything-that-breathes.”

But it was on the way home that it really set in. I said some choice words at drivers who were going just under the speed limit, yelled at a construction worker (praise God he couldn’t hear me), and wouldn’t let someone over in my lane. To anyone on the road with me Tuesday night in the Columbia area between 5 and 5:30, I would like to deeply apologize. I’m not a good person.

I ended up calling my fiance and venting all the way home, which ended up helping a lot (thank you Chesh!). He puts up with a lot from me and loves me through it, for which I will be eternally grateful. As I was making the final turn into my apartment complex, I had almost calmed down. Almost is the key word. Not fully, just almost. There is a field right in front of my building, that, presently, has some beautiful long grass that is picturesque beyond belief. And with the sun setting behind the trees, it was no surprise that there was not one, not two, but four people with cameras, snapping pictures of the view.

For some unexplained reason (I’m going to go with “Hannah is a bad person”) I hated them. Here they were with their stupid little cameras that were probably better than mine, being all artsy-fartsy with their macro and depth of field and their lenses. Probably just a bunch of basic white girls trying to get the perfect shot for their Insta feed. How pathetic! Didn’t they know how stupid they looked? Like a bunch of tourists traipsing through safari grass just to get a picture of some stupid inanimate object. I hated these do-gooders and their optimism. I hated the stupid sunset for looking so dang good. I hated the beautiful picturesque long grass. I hated the cameras they were using to take pictures…

Need I go on? It was a low moment. I’m not proud.

Let’s skip forward to Wednesday. As opposed to Tuesday when the outside of me was fine but the inside wasn’t, Wednesday was polar opposite. I turned off both of my alarms in my sleep and was almost an hour late to work. I snapped at my boss. My hair was a wreck, I almost twisted my ankle walking in my heels, I wore NO makeup (you know, being late and all…), and felt out of it all day. As I was leaving I realized I couldn’t continue like this. I know that when I’m grumpy, not only do other people avoid me, but I actually avoid myself. I sink further into the hole I’ve dug for myself, and nothing other than a shameful amount of chocolate pudding can pull me out.

So what did I do? I got in my car. I rolled down the windows. Put on my favorite pair of sunglasses. I blasted Needtobreathe, specifically “Lay ‘Em Down”. And I sang my heart out. I didn’t care if people could hear me. I like to think I have a nice voice, and singing harmony to “Lay ‘Em Down” makes me feel happy. I love to sing, and somehow it always changes my mood. Paired with the wind in my hair, and a “I-don’t-care-who-hears-me” attitude, I shouldn’t have been surprised that it worked. And this time when I passed the field, I decided to stop.


Isn’t that just beautiful?

I ended up becoming a basic white girl who took sunset pictures for her blog. Actually, I made a self discovery, wrote about it, and happened to have a picture to go with.

In recap, I’m not a good person. I get angsty and annoyed for no reason. I hate people and things for no reason one day, and then love them the next. I’m emotional and extremely stubborn and hard to love. I won’t get it right all the time. I won’t always be good. Or happy. Or even human. Sometimes I take the form of a lumpy grumpy potato cat. But that’s a story for another time.