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I Am A Writer: Here’s My Journey

Y’know I never really considered myself a writer. Yet, looking back now, I was quite the storyteller.

As A Kid

I used to write fake news reports when I was a kid and set up the camera on our karaoke machine and pretend I was presenting on air.

I attended Oxford Learning Centre in the summer between grades 6 and 7 and then 7 and 8. During that second summer I was to write a short story. The teacher expected 2–3 pages. I think I wrote about 14. It was the same in school. In 8th grade I was to write another short story, 5 pages max. I wrote 6 and ½.

The funny thing is, looking at my old report cards, I always had a solid B in all my English classes. I didn’t get my first A in English until my Grade 9 final exam (and I was both surprised and damn proud of that 92%).

In High School

During high school I also got really good at writing essays. They weren’t perfect, I wasn’t getting 100% on everything, but I was getting on average an 85% or more (which counts as an A, for my American readers). Mind you, once I had an essay planned out with the appropriate research I had it done in an hour. I literally never spent more than a few hours researching and writing an essay, I never edited them properly, and I always got a solid A-.

By 10th grade I tried plotting a full story. I had some character ideas and a meager plot I wanted to flesh out. And I did, but the story didn’t go anywhere. Next I took on blogging. I just wrote about a page on whatever subject or topic that came to mind. Maybe it was something that happened at school that day or a short book review.

I blogged off and on throughout high school. I think I picked it up again in my final year, or it was just after I graduated. I started a wordpress website (wordpress, omg), and started blogging my thoughts there. I also took a creative writing class in my final year and got really into writing. I still wasn’t very good at finishing any larger stories, but I was learning and honing my craft. I grew to enjoy poetry, which I thought I would never like. I was able to share my writing with my classmates and only be partially (a lot) awkward about it.

The In-Between Years

There were a solid three years between the time I graduated and before I started college. I wrote two full length manuscripts in that time and had a bunch of other stories floating around in various states of completion. I’d start something and then get bored or get a new idea and move on. But I was writing. I was writing and developing characters and building worlds and all of that has helped me grow as a writer.

In College

In the summer between first and second year of college I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and wrote a 50,000 word manuscript. I had it printed out and bought myself a crown. Then I realized I wasn’t terribly happy with it and have since set out to replot the majority of it and spend significantly more time outlining. Unfortunately, my creative writing is on the back burner right now because I need to make money, but I know it’s there and I will always go back to it.

Now, I write here on Medium. I’m finally starting to make a little bit of money from it too. The first time I’ve ever made money from my writing and I think that’s so cool.

Final Thoughts

When I say I have years of experience writing, or that I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words–I’m not exaggerating.

Those first two manuscripts I wrote were easily upwards of 80,000 words each. Each. One of them was written by hand. I once wrote 10,000 words in a week around the time the pandemic hit. I’ve written over 200 poems (angsty, depressed poems when I was like 17 years old, but hey). I have a 15,000 word completed short story. I’ve written almost 100 posts for this blog here.

Of course, nothing has been published yet. Everything I’ve completed are first drafts and everything I haven’t completed are just sitting on my hard drive. I used to beat myself up for having all this work written, but not being able to show anything for it.

But now I know I’ve been developing this skill all these years. I’ve been getting better and better, learning more and more. I will write and publish a novel one day. I know I will. Until then, I will continue to write to my heart’s content and learn as much as I can. I will continue to explore different fiction genres and learn more about content and copywriting. I’ll continue to hone my skills as a writer. And I am a writer. I can say that now with certainty. I am a writer.

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