Melissa J. Dallago

The blank page has always beckoned me with its siren call. When I was growing up, I kept a journal, and unlike the other kids, I enjoyed the writing assignments given in school. I had an active imagination that often got me into trouble, and writing was a safe way for me to release it.

When I was a teenager I had dreams of writing the next great novel. It involved a girl, a demon and a little book of spells and the resultant damage caused by the three. I spent hours happily writing. I pictured myself sitting at my first book signing while my many fans waited to catch a glimpse of me. I never finished the project because my attention span was short, and I grew frustrated when I realized just how hard writing was. It was at that point that I developed a severe case of writer’s block. The blank page still called to me, but I had lost interest in answering it.

When I reached my 30s it was as if a dam had broken and all of these ideas and images came bursting forth. My mind was flooded, and I couldn’t write fast enough. The subjects that I wrote about were political in nature. This was after September 11th, and my American patriotism was strong. I filled page upon page of my ideas of what it meant to be an American, what our founding fathers had imagined for our nation, and my thoughts on where we had gone wrong. I never shared my writing with anyone because I was afraid of their reaction or outright laughter. I was a closet writer filling the blank pages one after another, but telling no one.

Writing became my private escape as I started journaling. I spent hours pouring out my heart and soul, filling my notebooks with my emotions, thoughts, and opinions. Writing became a private hobby, something I did in my spare time.

My desire to pursue writing openly was born after my dad died in 2010; death creating life in a figurative way. I realized how fragile life was, and that our days on this earth are limited. I decided to stop hiding my words from the eyes of others. Writing also saved me after my dad passed away by helping me to release my emotions and pain onto the blank page. I wrote about my grief, my dad’s life and how his death affected me and my family. Writing became a way of honoring his memory, and hopefully a way of offering support to others.

I no longer write in private. I write to escape, to rant, and to share my knowledge, but mostly I write just because I want to. I share my words in the hope that my thoughts offer support, enjoyment and insight to others. I proudly say that I am an aspiring writer with no fear of recriminations. The blank pages will always beckon and now I gladly answer their call.