Since March I’ve thought a lot about who I am and who I am as a writer. In August, thanks to my Creative Writing Portfolio class, I was forced to brand myself and really think about how I would market myself as a writer. I say forced because I had to make a writer’s website, which was an anxiety attack all on its own, and for other reasons. Honestly, it just bothered me that in a class called Creative Writing Portfolio we were putting our time and energy into something that had nothing to do with out actual writing. But that’s just my opinion!
All that aside, it really made me sit back and think about who I am as a writer and how far I’ve come as a writer. So I thought it might be interesting to take everyone on a little journey from where my writing journey started to where it’s at now!
I don’t remember when exactly I started writing. My first memory of writing something was some short stories when I was in second that my mother would type up and save on a floppy disk. I would also submit them to my second grade teacher for extra credit. Apparently even at a young age people enjoyed reading my writing and thought I had a talent for it. I find some irony in this because I started out writing short stories and now they are something I never want to write! I guess that’s just an example of how time changes things. In fifth grade I started keeping a diary and that is something I’m still doing to this day, though I call it journaling or memory perseveration at this stage of my life.
Fast forward to middle school where I started writing “songs”. I started listening to Avril Lavigne and all of a sudden I thought I could write songs too! They were terrible. Truly terrible. I can still remember some of them to this day and they will never be uttered out loud. All physical copies have been destroyed so no one can ever read them. They were that bad! But I enjoyed writing them and even thought about eventually forming my own band someday… then I got bitten by the acting bug and that ate up my remaining years in middle school and most of my time in high school. There was some really bad poetry written in those years, but most of those have been destroyed or long forgotten.
It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school that I really started writing again. I started writing fan fiction and posting it online. I wrote wrestling fan fiction, both straight and gay wrestling fan fiction. I would come up with my own original characters to be the love interests for a wrestler in the straight fics and in the gay ones, I would pair wrestlers I liked together, my main pairing being John Cena/Randy Orton. I no longer watch wrestling, so it’s weird to think about now. When I met my best friend Kellie my Senior year of high school, we wrote fan fiction together and it was some of the happiest moments of my Senior year. I loved having someone I could write with and bounce creative ideas off of. We never posted them, we wrote them for ourselves, and we would even make special notebooks for them that we would pass back and forth to each other during the school day. At the end of the school day one of us would have it and have a bunch of writing done for the next day. We’ve written so many fanfics together over our almost eleven years of friendship (most of which have gone unfinished for several reasons), but I loved every second of it because it was a way we connected with each other and I think it was one of the contributing factors to us building such a strong friendship.
Meanwhile, with my love of writing fanfics growing, my love of acting started dying. There were so many contributing factors that led to me falling out of love with acting and once I had that realization, I was scared. What was I going to do with my life now? Acting was all I wanted to do! But fate stepped in and had an answer for me. My Honors English professor wrote on a creative writing assignment that I submitted for class that I should pursue writing. He had really liked my story, I got all As in that class, and my love for English and writing was clear. When I read that on my assignment, it was like all the lights went on and someone was home- that someone being me. So by the time I finished up my Senior year, I only had one goal in mind- I wanted to be a writer.
Originally I had wanted to pursue Journalism and work for WWE magazine. But after a few semesters of Journalism courses and realizing there wasn’t much room for creativity in Journalism, I realized that wasn’t the right path for me either. I am a highly creative person. Facts are great and all, but why would I want to be factual in my writing when I could be creative and make stories my own? So I switched my focus to Creative Writing and haven’t looked back since.
I used to look back on all these experiences as a waste of time because they didn’t lead me where I wanted to go or where I thought I wanted to go, but now I look at them as the stepping stones that led me to where I am today. Without all these experiences, good and bad, I wouldn’t be the person or the writer I am today. I wouldn’t have realized that instead of performing other people’s stories I wanted to write my own. I wouldn’t have realized that I will always prefer Fiction over fact (though I now write both). And without the push of those wiser than myself, I would have never realized being a writer is my life’s calling and that this is what I’m meant to do.
So who I am? I’m a freelance writer. I’m a blogger. I’m an aspiring novelist. I’m a mental health advocate. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter. I’m a bookworm. And I am a writer who always tries to write from a place of honesty and emotion, even in pieces that are Fictional. I want to be an inspiration to others. I want to write about things that excite me or I find interesting or will help others in their journey. I want to write pieces that are emotional, thought-provoking, and inventive. I want to present ideas and topics in ways that other writers wouldn’t think to do. I want to write things that no one else has written (which I know is hard to do). I want everything I write to evoke a reaction for my readers. A negative reaction can stir up a passionate conversation just as much as a positive reaction can. So if you read something I write and respond negatively to it, I will still consider it a success because I made the reader feel something! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something I didn’t like, but I acknowledged the success of it because it made me feel something. So I will always believe that the emotion a piece of writing makes us feel is just as important as the story itself.
So what’s next on my writing journey? Getting my MFA and actually finishing the first draft of a novel are my two main goals at the moment. Growing this blog and my mental health blog are also high on my goal list because this is the platform where I get to share my writing and write whatever I want! With that I would also like to expand the topics I write about and maybe even have some people write guest posts just to add some more variety to the blog. But the one thing I know is that no matter where this journey takes me, I will stay on it and try to learn as much as possible so I can continue to grow as a writer and a person.
Who are you as a writer? What has your writing journey looked like up until the point? I would love to know your journeys! Also, what topics would you like to see me write about in the future? And if you would like to write a guest post for my blog, let me know that as well! I hope everyone has a great week!