Soon I will be starting an “Intro to Creative Writing” course. These online courses always start the same: “Let your fellow students know all about you!” This time was a bit unique. We had to discuss our writing journey. I figured I would share it with my bloggy peeps 🙂
Hello everyone! My name is Faith!
My first official story was titled “Lisa and the Mean Girl.” It was a third grade assignment and one of the first assignments I had to do within a new school. While others were writing two page stories and spending more time creating artwork, I was writing a chapter book that I knew would one day be a best seller! I was two chapters and 14 pages into it when my teacher informed me that we were moving on to other material. According to the note home, I never edited or revised my work like I should have. My teacher didn’t want to necessarily say that I was negligent in my work, as I was leagues ahead in regard to development, but I needed to learn to work within the time frames given to ensure I get my work done on time. I still don’t really know what to make of that assessment.
My love for writing flourished in fifth grade. My teacher, Mrs. Bednarz, made us write in a journal in the beginning of each day. Sometimes she would give us prompts, but we could write whatever we wanted to. I would take a prompt one day and spend weeks working on it. I even drafted up series pieces. She let me work on them in my free time and even encouraged that we share what we wrote with our classmates. This memory may be skewed a bit to inflate my pride, but I remember everyone saying they loved my stories and couldn’t wait until I was ready to share them. Mrs. Bednarz called me the class writer, and made me promise her than when I became a published author I’d dedicate my first book to her.
Middle school was hell, and I don’t think I wrote at all during this period. I was mercilessly bullied. Apparently, my muse does not work when I am in despair. In my sophomore year of high school I took a creative writing class. I honestly don’t remember anything at all about the class. I do remember that I wrote one piece, a short story in which I tried to focus on the characters learning empathy for the people around them. The teacher said the piece “moved him” and that I had a rare gift. It reinvigorated my love for writing.
The next stage of my writing development isn’t one I usually speak of, but since I know in this class I will be surrounded by kindred spirits, I will share it. I spent the rest of my high school time thoroughly engrossed in……fanfiction.. I wrote about my friends and I, and later members in my online group, meeting famous boybands and the torrid love affairs that ensued. I had about 500 followers and AOL (kind of dating myself a bit) had frozen my account a few times thinking I was sending SPAM emails. I even made a bit of money writing specific pieces for girls. It’s the closest I will probably ever get to published work.
When I graduated high school I finished a novel that I have never shared with anyone. I titled it Standing Next to Perfection. It was based off of my friend who attempted suicide trying to be everything that everyone wanted her to be. I have also spent over fourteen years developing another story. It’s not cohesive, and I don’t plan on ever making it so. The characters I see as representations of myself and I write about them when I feel I need to deal with the world around me.
After I had children, my writing took another hiatus. I did, however, blog. Writing about the world around me was a great way to connect to other people. I still have a blog, but it’s pretty neglected as of late.
In 2013, I began my college journey and was introduced to a new type of writing: Composition. Most people I know hate this style, but I love it. I love the ability to not only write, but argue and defend what I feel is right. I have never experienced a “writer’s high” such as when I feel like a paper is coming together. After a year, I was referred to the Writing Center to become a peer writing tutor. Mostly I worked with what they call 096 students. These are students who are not quite ready to start college level work. One of their first official writing pieces is a personal narrative, in which they write about a moment in their lives that changed them. Working with these students was one of the most humbling moments in my life. I did my best to instill my own love for writing within each and every one of my students. All in all, working in the Writing Center made me appreciate the personal voice that everyone has within their writing.
In this time I was also asked to write a few pieces for the school’s newspaper. I didn’t really care for it as my focus at this time was on larger issues. I was Vice President of Student Government, served on the campus’ Governance Council, and held various executive board positions in three major clubs. When I wrote in this time, it was to serve the student’s agenda on various issues such as security issues and non-binary gender inclusivity.
Upon graduating from my community college, I had to hand off all my fancy titles, including peer writing tutor. My goal for my time at SNHU is to focus on developing my skills as a writer and gain the credentials to return to my former community college as an educating assistant. Although I do not plan on ever formally publishing anything, I am working on a few things. I am working on a youth fantasy novel based a bit off of the children in my life. The story focuses on the impact that children can have on the world around them especially in times of war and strife. I am also collaborating on a zombie apocalypse piece with my son. It focuses on the detrimental side effects of industrial farming/fracking within our society and uses zombies as a catalyst to promote better treatment of the environment. Finally, I am creating a collection of short stories based on my experience as a submariner wife. In each piece I take a look at most of the stereotypes associated with this title and use my background within sociology and women’s studies to create a unique lens on the experiences we endure.