My mom was actually the first person to encourage me to start writing. She was a psychology major in college, so she was always reading up on ways improve mental health. When I was little, I didn’t think anything of it, and I started to really develop a love for it! I would write about my day, or things my little sister did that would anger me, or write fiction stories about super heroes I would make up in my head. I absolutely loved making up stories about different fictional characters, and even started bringing my stories to school for show-and-tell. When I got a little bit older, I started getting made fun of for my fictional stories I would write, and I got very discouraged, so I would hide my articles from my family and friends and would only write them for myself. It became less fun when I wasn’t appraised for writing. I would hide my journal when my friends came over because I was so embarrassed to be doing such a “girly” thing, as they said. It wasn’t until I took English in high school when I started showing people my work again. I had a teacher (that was a male) teaching my English class, and he really encouraged us to break out of our shell when we were writing. When he started congratulating me on my work, I became more confident and got over my discouragement with writing. I soon learned that what people don’t know, is that people who journal actually have less anxiety, are more organized, and become better readers/writers; all from just writing your feelings are or what you did that day in a notebook! When I learned the benefits of writing, I threw all of the discouragement away and completely embraced it. If you feel discouraged for journaling, don’t! It’s an awesome way to let things go and stay organized. Keep Calm and Write On!