Writing

Where I Am On My Writing Journey

When it comes to writing, I feel like I hold myself back. At least I’m not letting others hold me back too much.

I think my problem isn’t so much that I’m terrified of trying. But rather I try and give up. I’ll attempt to write a story only to abandon it halfway through.

I know I don’t have to stress about my writing career so soon. After all, I’m still in school, and I will be until 2019. But thinking about graduation freaks me out. What am I going to do after university? Where will I work?

I’m borderline unemployable, so I hope writing works out. Ultimately, I want to write full-time, all the time.

Imagine eighty year old me sitting in a rocking chair by the fireplace and squinting at a screen. I kid you not, I already have the eyes of a sixty-year-old. That happens when you don’t win the genetic lottery.

Because I’m lazy, I haven’t done a ton of research up until this point. I’m still trying to improve my writing. First, I need to finish my novels. Once I do then I’ll figure out my next move.

I’ve always dreamed of being traditionally published. I’m kind of on the fence right now in terms of which route to take. I’m not sure what to pursue anymore.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind self publishing. I won’t shy away from the work. I’d welcome the challenge with open arms.

There’s a part of me that wants to try the traditional path though. If I fail, I can self publish. And if I fail to publish anything, please shout at me. Talk some sense into my thick head.

There’s so much to think about and work through. Like I’m so fond of saying, I’ll take life word by word, day by day. Maybe down the road, I can look back and laugh at my past self.

Writing

My Writing Journey

I don’t remember the day I learned to pick up a pencil and put it to paper. Oh, how I wish I did. Being able to write changed my life.

I’m beyond grateful for getting an education. Because of it, I can read and write not just my name but also anything I want.

Before I fell for languages, English especially, I enjoyed and even excelled in mathematics. Mainly because it was so simple, straightforward. It was black and white. You were wrong or right.

Early on, I did better in math than in reading, writing, or oral communication. But throughout elementary, I must have read a boat load of books in my free time. Somewhere along the way my love for reading manifested into something more.

I went back to visit my elementary school teachers, and one of them still remembers how I used to write stories all the time. Although I don’t remember writing a lot as a kid, I recall reading anything in sight. 

In grade 8, I took on a full-length novel. Granted it took me about 2 years to finish the first draft because I took extended breaks along the way. But one of my proudest accomplishments to date is finishing that novel. It come out to 70,000+ words.

I started taking writing more seriously when I was in high school. Especially after I entered my first writing contest when I was in grade 9. I must have been about 13 years old, going on 14. 

I never thought twice about the contest until I heard back from them. Actually my English teacher got the news first because I put her name down and the high school I attended. So she pulled me aside during my math class. I thought I got in trouble. Little did I know my world was about to be rocked. 

She showed me the congratulatory letter with my name on it. I almost didn’t believe her. I never told my teacher that I had entered the contest. Come to think of it, I didn’t tell anyone.

Not only did I get the short piece published, I placed in the top ten of my age division, which happened to be the highest honour for that particular competition.

Later, I applied for my high school yearbook committee, specifically the journalism department. I got rejected. 

I think I owe that yearbook team a big thank you. Had it not been for them, I think I wouldn’t have started blogging, at least not as early as I did anyway.

Out of boredom, I created a blog in April 2013 at 15 years old. I guess I thought blogging would be the logical next step. 

I made it a habit to write every day in early 2015. Took me long enough.

I also got into journaling that same year on my birthday (August 22). I love having a place to write down my thoughts and feelings, worries and concerns. I know no one will read it. And so I can be brutally honest. 

I’m not sure when exactly I decided I wanted to be a writer. But I continue to hope I’ll be able to write for a living. I’d want nothing more.

In the past and even now, but more so back then, writing was my escape. I loved being able to get away from the real world that sucked at the best of times, and go somewhere else for a while.

At some point I loved stories so much I wanted to tell my own. I wanted to share my story. Which is why I write and blog and do what I do every day.

I think I love the freedom that comes with creating something from nothing. Writing is the one thing I have complete control over. I control what happens and when. I write on my own terms, not anyone else’s. 

In many ways, words changed my life for the better. I don’t know where I’d be or who I would’ve become had it not been for writing. 

Regardless of whether or not I become a published writer, I hope I never stop writing. On my own terms. To please myself. For my sake. Above all, I hope I write for the rest of my life because it makes me happy, happier than anything else in the world.

Writing

Things To Never Ask A Writer

So it’s the last day of my March break and I figured I would save my favourite and longest post for last. I haven’t heard any of the below (the bolded questions) in quite some time plus I would like to keep it that way. Thus, I wrote this post for everyone I will encounter on my return back to high school. Here’s some extra homework from one writer to a non-writer. Never utter any of these phrases to a serious writer. At least, not to my face. Okay? Study, learn, and memorize accordingly. Thank you in advance.

Can you stop using big words?

In case you didn’t get the memo, writers love words. Otherwise, why else would we expose ourselves to words every day? If writers won the lottery every time this “using big words” debate came up, writers would be richer and wealthier than any other profession known to mankind. The entire universe should bow down to writers now. After all, writers are planning to take over the world with their intellect. Of course, our arsenal of words will come in handy. Who are you to stop us?

Why are you staring/glaring at him/her/it?

Uh…it’s simple and completely explainable. Just give us a fraction of a second for us to tell you why. Writers need to research. And observing constitutes as research. Observing well translates into realistic description. And if writers weren’t realistic, books would not be read. Books would not exist if no one read them. Therefore, do us all a favour and the next time you catch a writer looking at someone or something, get out of their way. Pretend for 5 minutes that you are a writer. I know that’s difficult. Being a writer is no easy task. But if you think like a writer, you are less likely to annoy them. You might end up appearing in the next best-seller or if you’re lucky (and helpful) enough, your name could appear in the acknowledgement section of a novel. Hey, you might know a soon-to-be famous writer. Do your best to be understanding, would ya? It won’t kill you and the writers of this world will appreciate ya.

Want to go watch a movie? 

If we like you enough, we might agree and smile politely when you ask. If, in our heads, we can create a list of one hundred and one things we rather be doing than watching a movie with you, we’ll decline and smile awkwardly. Or we’ll throw in the “maybe, next time?” to save you from any hurt feelings. Perhaps, we value the friendship enough to make it up to you somehow. Still, we may just want some space. If you’ve just met your writer friend, use your common sense. If you’ve known a writer long enough, you should know books beat movies any day. However, if you truly know the writer species, you know what to say and when to say it. Keep the movie invites to a limit, especially when said writer is trying to meet countless deadlines. Otherwise, you’re impeding on the writer’s goal of publishing something—anything. Movie invite after the novel is released? Sign me up. Movie offer during the novel creation and formation? Uh…unless I’m desperate for a break from my baby, no, thank you.

That concludes this post. If you have read this far, I am truly grateful. If you haven’t, spare me the truth and don’t tell me. Please.

One other thing, don’t ever ask me to use smaller words, to glance in the other direction, and/or to see a film over seeing the finish of my story.

Keep this in mind:

A happier writer makes for a happier world.

I didn’t intend for this to be such a long ramble. Sorry. I’m almost done.

If you haven’t already, go read my post on 10 Things You Should Never Say To A Writer. Heh, a writer-blogger has to do some self-promotion from time to time. Besides, clicking that link costs you nothing financially and nets me an additional view. What a win-win situation for everyone. It will also let me know what types of posts my readers like or don’t like. Although, most writers (myself included) write for themselves, I still want to create posts that my followers will enjoy reading.

Have a great day or night, depending on where you are in the world and when you happen to be reading this post.

Writing

Freestyle Friday: 10 Things You Should Never Say To A Writer

  1. “Writing is like so easy. How hard can it possibly be?” All I can do when I hear this is shake my head sadly. If you have ever uttered these words in your lifetime, I hope you don’t become a writer. 
  2. “Writing is like so boring.” or the more rude version: “Writing is stupid.” This one is plain rude. How would you liked it if I called your hobby/passion boring or stupid?
  3. “Are you published?” For the record, don’t assume a writer is no good if they are not published. Writers are writers regardless of whether or not they are published or not.
  4. “I have always wanted to write a book.” If you really wanted it, you would have done it already. If you started writing a book, I applaud you. If you actually finished a book and I’m talking legitimately finish, I have much more respect for you. Now if only you were published…
  5. “Can you make me a character in your book?” No. I don’t care who you are. I will not make you a character in my book especially after that comment.
  6. “Do you make any money from writing?” For the curious souls out there, yes I have. That doesn’t make this question any less personal.
  7. “Can I read your manuscript?” Most of the time I would say no. Don’t get offended. It’s not personal. In fact, I don’t let many people read my manuscripts for obvious reasons known to all writers out there.
  8. “Why don’t you ever leave the house?” I do leave my house. I just don’t leave it often. Besides, writing takes priority over most things/people/responsibilities in my life.
  9. “So what is your book about?” I get annoyed whenever someone asks me this. Sure, it’s a valid question but it gets on my nerves nonetheless.
  10. “Stop stalking him!” Okay, this is 1. rude and 2. annoying. The only reason I haven’t murdered you yet is because I have better things to do than stalk people with my life. Hello?! I make time to write despite going to school, finishing my homework, studying for exams, doing any chores or housework, participating in after-school activities, volunteering, maintaining this wonderful blog, among other vital things in my life like sleeping and eating. How I have any time to stalk anyone is absurd to put it nicely.

I could think of more…I am sure other writers could think of things they would never want to hear again.

I’m sure this list will continue to grow as I continue my journey as a writer. That does not bother me at all. I am thankful for the support I have and the people that understand where I am coming from. Cheers to all the writers out there. Continue doing what you love to do regardless of what anyone says.