What is one of your hobbies? One of your passions? Something you love?
Mine is the art of writing. I’ve loved it since as long as I can remember, which, considering I don’t know what I had for breakfast this morning, probably doesn’t say much. Anyways, trace a timeline of moments throughout your life believe defined your pursuit.
Here are mine 🙂
The First Story:
In the fourth grade my teacher asked the class to compose a short story about anything we wanted. I wrote about…a man who caught a fish every day at the pond near his house. And after so long, the suddenly ‘magical’ sea creatures in the pond didn’t like that, so they had a meeting one night to discuss what to do…and, in your typical turn of events, reeled the fisherman in the following day and ate him.
I loved this story. I was into this story. And, this story is what introduced me to creating tales through the medium of writing. Then, it became my escape.
The Fifth Grade Story Book:
Once again, this was an example I remember about utterly, helplessly losing myself in a story. My fifth grade class was to detail and draw our own short composition. The project consumed me–I vividly recall putting all my effort, all my love, and all myself into this tale about a monkey charge (what the ‘eff–I know…I don’t think it had a starting point either).
In the end, I was sooooo proud…until several of our classmates read theirs out loud. And my best friend’s sounded well-written and descriptive and beautiful and all I could think was fuck you. Unfortunately, at that moment, the unconscious self-urge to compare my writing to others began (dun dun dunnnn).
My ‘First’ Novel:
The sixth grade…was when I decided I wanted to be an author.
We had a Friday period called Writer’s Workshop, during which the class would have an hour to take a piece through the writing process. Brainstorming, drafting, peer revision, teacher edits, final draft.
I wrote a short story on a pick pocketer…it was pretty lame. My next piece was longer, muuuuuch longer, as in about 20 written pages….My classmates were stopping at five or six! But I was so engrossed, so into my tale about three students disappearing into the world of a robot war…it was perfection for me.
And then…and then it began.
I loved the show Dragonball Z. My childhood, my life. I kind of, sort of copied ideas from it into a novel on my own DBZ figurines. And it was long. Jesus, I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and couldn’t stop because I was having so much fun and not knowing where I was going but ohhhhh myyyy God it was funnnn! And suddenly it was over a hundred pages long, and my classmates wanted to read it, my teacher told me to put her name somewhere in it when I became published, and my sister straight up said, ‘You should name the second Battle for the Universe and the third The Last Hope.’
Okay. I would. I would finish this story and write more. Because everyone expected me to. I was a writer, a novelist, then. End of story…
…But the expectations of others–were they a good thing?
A Walking-and-Talking Thesaurus:
My dad was the first one to read my completed novel–I was so excited! He laughed at times, said he enjoyed it, didn’t finish it–and then I read my friend’s (the fifth grade friend) own short story. My final thoughts: fuckkkkkkkk youuuuuuuuu.
It sounded good. The writing was good. The characters were good. The plot was good. Everything was good. Mine was…all story and no writing.
All throughout middle school and all throughout high school, I used big, big words that came straight from the thesaurus to sound impressive, sophisticated, and smart. Because that was my definition of good writing.
Overall…my passion and excitement was lost–writing became nothing more than a chore. My stories were something I expected myself to complete because other people still called me an author. Everything suffered.
The Girl Who Could Change Fate:
One day after school, the words ‘the girl who messed with fate’ randomly stumbled across my mind. I don’t know how they came about, but they did; and in that moment I spontaneously decided I’d write a novel about it. I had no expectations for it. Others were unaware, therefore they had no expectations. I just…started writing, as they say. And I loved it, loved coming up with its plot and characters and voice to where I was utterly, helplessly consumed once again. Everything about it, for me, was good.
And I ended up ultimately publishing it 🙂
So these are five big writing moments for me. My relationship with this hobby has overcome darker moments, these times of struggle, but has also experienced brighter moments. I’ve learned over the years how strong it has become a part of my identity and self-expression. And look forward to where we will go together 🙂
What are your timeline moments?