What I’ve Learned: The Writer in Me Meets the Experience

How gifting a subscription and remembering a dear friend’s advice began my journey with dedication and determination.

Pamela J. Nikodem, MS
Nov 12 · 3 min read

Reading developed a love of the written word inside of me through the years. From the first book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Third Grade to Pity the Reader, a memoir on writing devoted to Kurt Vonnegut. To read meant to explore. Writing meant to create. Reading to create helped me grow.

I spent countless hours pouring over home-school websites, reading how to create curriculum, blending different curriculum together in order to find the best of the best for my six children. I spent every evening connecting the dots for my children. I created worksheets to explore great literature and books like Brave New World, The Hiding Place, All Quiet on the Western Front, and others.

I decided to pursue writing with my children and we created cute little stories. I lived vicariously through my studies with my children. Soon, however, I left the situation I was in, and pursued college. I gained my Masters of Science in Education, and wrote hundreds of research papers based on Domestic Violence, Relationships, and Addiction.

I began editing and writing articles based on Addiction recovery. As I wrote, each article became clearer and more organized. The creative side became alive as I would listen to talks, lectures, and sermons, gather parts of the ideas and then create relapse prevention worksheets for my husband’s work. He would generate an idea and then, I created the worksheet.

Over time, group members would wear the keys, anchors, and the whistles around their necks or keep them in their pockets to remind them of their choice to stay in recovery. We’d use tactile-like items to match topics. Taking those everyday objects and apply a lesson to them prompted clients to remember the object of the topic.

Over time, I developed a skill in working with clients directly. I worked to take my topics and put them into real-life experiences, into my work with domestic violence offenders, and in my children’s life. I applied the writings to my life, in all areas and I found awareness and excitement for change.

Writing became the tool to explore myself, the world around me, and developed the spontaneous speaker who can connect a topic from my memory to a story or life narrative.

I took a break from writing for almost two years, as I struggled with research assignments. Once I completed my Thesis, I was exhausted. I did not want to write another paper. I was sick of writing 13-page research papers.

I gifted a Medium subscription to Lawrence, who loved reading Medium articles, last December. After the 2018 Christmas season, I decided to start one for myself as a paid member, even though I had started in 2016 with Medium. I began to write in earnest. I joined the Partner Program, and began making small amounts of money (literally small) and relished in the writer’s connection. I believe the transition from academic writer to a creative writer was challenging.

Slowly developing my voice, I knew touching lives and caring about my topics mattered. Vonnegut’s writings changed me deeply and I started focusing on what I could do to improve my work.

The experience of life built a love of the written word. My life changed because I began creative writing from my heart. I’m not seeking horns and hats off to my work. I am seeking to touch lives and help people develop stronger relationships with loved ones as well as friends.

I sign the end of each article or poem I write Just a thought by Pamela, because at one time, I reduced my thoughts to personal insights. I didn’t want to make people feel they had to do what I thought. A friend, my past walking partner, suggested in the year 2009, that I use the signature as a blog page name and begin writing. Ten years later, I am blogging, and honoring my friend with the signature. She believed in me when I did not even know I had a writer’s voice.

~Just a thought by Pamela


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Pamela J. Nikodem, MS

Written by

Masters Graduate in Psychology, Counseling, Addictions. — Motivational and Relationship Coach — Writer, Reader, Dreamer — Hope Creator.

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