Thursday, August 31, 2017

How I Wrote When I Was Twelve

I didn't think about publication or readers. I had never been rejected; although, I did get the occasional Meh response from a teacher on a writing assignment.

But the Meh responses didn't bug me.

I wrote when I had a funny idea or sad one, when I had something important I wanted to remember, when I'd read a good book and wished I could keep the story and the characters going.

I didn't worry about what type of writing I did. I wrote short stories and novels. I wrote a play. A comic strip. Essays and poems. I even wrote songs. And taped myself singing them.

I kept a journal. I typed on a typewriter. I hand-wrote in notebooks or on loose-leaf paper. I illustrated my stories. I drew my own book covers. I didn't care that I wasn't good at drawing.

Most of the stories I never finished. A few of the stories, I revised. Over and over. But it never felt like work.

If I didn't feel like writing one day, or for a week, or for a month, I just... didn't. And when I pulled out my typewriter to write another story, I didn't wonder if I'd lost my ability.

When I was twelve, I wrote for myself.

And it was my favorite thing to do in the world.


  1. Love this! Makes me think of all my writing when a kid, from the piece I have from like 2nd grde where I did a chalk lion; how I made hardcopies of a number of emails I sent folks after college, thinking, "these may help me capture emotions someday" to how I continued Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea when it was a trilogy, and I wanted Ged's story to continue; to how that served as my idea for my own character who would take a hawk form, to, to to .... Infinity and Beyond! How I laugh unashamedly at kids' movies, with the innocence of youth. Love books, love writing, love sharing... oh, wait, now I'm running super long. Again, Great post, both to show me how you wrote and write, and what my journey has been.

    1. Happy you liked this, Shari. I have been struggling with writing a bit lately, and trying to recapture my old joy. PS: I love that you wrote fan fiction of Wizard of Earthsea!

  2. Yes, me, too! It's one reason I tell people not to be in too much of a hurry to publish. Publishing changing things--some for the better, but there are drawbacks too.

    1. True. It adds an element that writers cannot control.