February 5, 2014

How I Started Writing by Monica

I am very pleased to have Monica Cole with me today! :) Welcome Monica!! :D

Hi! I’m Monica Cole. I’m a 15 year old homeschool student and blogger from Bellingham, WA. I have been blogging at readingwritinghighschool.blogspot.com for a year, and I blog about books, writing, homeschooling, and more. I have completed NaNoWriMo (a challenge to write a novel in a month) three times, and plan on doing it many, many more. I edit nonfiction books about tracking and more for money, and I love it. My dreams for the future are to be either a librarian or an editor.

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.

Find her Here::

Thanks for coming over, Monica! I loved your posts! :D

TW Wright

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