How did I start writing? I think that many writers probably can’t name a particular day when they started writing, or when they decided to be a writer, and I am part of that group. Since I was very little, I have loved books and reading, and I think a love of writing came quite naturally from that. I remember writing stories that were a few paragraphs long in kindergarten and 1st grade, but when I was seven years old, my writing career began for real.
It all started one day when I read the book, The Landry News by Andrew Clements. That very day, I decided to start a newspaper. Now, I’m sure lots of kids decide to start a newspaper for their family at some point when they are young, but for some reason, I went a little bigger with my project. I enlisted my mom for help, and then I sent letters to all my aunts and uncles, grandparents, and some close family friends, asking them to subscribe for $10 a year. Many of them did, and in January 2006 the very first edition of the Classical Academy News was sent out. Each copy was two double sided pages, and included a some short pieces about what I was doing in school at the time, a summary of what our family did for Christmas that year, a book review, a recipe, and a short puzzle on the back page.
It was more popular that I had expected, and for the next four years I continued publishing it every month. In the beginning I relied a lot on my mom for help, and her patience with me was truly amazing. :) As time went on, things shifted a little, and I did more and more of the actual work. The newsletter, as it came to be known in our family, was always two double sided pages. Each edition always included a piece or two about what I was studying in school at the time, a recipe, a puzzle, a poll for readers to answer, a book review, and after a while, a feature I called “This Month in History,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
In late 2010, after four years in print, the Classical Academy News was retired. I was now 12, and I was going through a really crazy time in my life. I just didn't have time any more. I didn't do that much writing for about a year, until in September 2011 a friend told me about NaNoWriMo, which is an event that happens every year where you try to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I went for it that year, and I finished with 50,003 words. The following year, I did it again, ending a day early this time.
In February 2013 I started up my blog. I had had blogs before, but none of them had stuck. This time, though, I was determined that I would stick with it, and I did. I knew from the start that it would be a book blog, and book reviews are still my main type of post. I also post a lot about writing.
Over the past eight years since I first really started writing, I have done a lot of it. I wrote a newsletter, I’ve written hundreds of blog posts, I’ve written three novels, and I’ve written dozens of essays and papers for school. What I’ve realized in that time is that writing isn’t a thing you just do. It’s a thing you work at and refine for years. Now that I’ve written three novels, I can tell you that I don’t really see myself as an author, though I definitely plan on doing NaNoWriMo many more times. I like writing nonfiction and opinion pieces (like blog posts), and I have grown to love language and the written word. I see myself putting all these experiences to good use, maybe as a journalist, or an editor.
I think that when it comes to writing, the journey is far, far more important than the destination. Whatever your destination: a published book, a job as an editor, a successful blog, a completed novel, don’t lose yourself heading towards it. The journey towards that goal may make you realize that you didn’t even yet know your true destination when you began.
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Thanks for coming over, Monica! I loved your posts! :D