The Thrills of Being a Young Writer and All that Bad Writing

Writing was freeing. It was thrilling. I was at the top of the world when writing. Anything was possible, even superpowers and dragons.

After writing my little book in first grade (read about my first book here) I went on to write a few short stories in school for journal time. Then, after a while, besides enjoying essay writing more than the average seven year old, I had, more or less, forgotten about writing. I remained an avid reader, however, and books and reading were still a major part of my life.





However, I came back into writing in an odd and unexpected way.

Through Suzuki violin lessons, I made a new friend who I'll call May for privacy purposes. Our favorite thing to do was make-believe role play games, next to My Little Pet Shop and American Girl dolls of course! We could go on for hours, and we would get so immersed in our fantasy worlds. We'd even use our American Girl dolls as the characters, and once, because we wanted a more realistic feel, we even dressed up her mannequin and pretended it was another character in our plot.


After that, she wrote the first little book, and, being the amazing artist she was, illustrated it as well. In the little books she wrote, we went to horse camp together and lived by each other. Eventually, we somehow became princess looking to bring the bad guy to justice.


I wasn't very good at art, much as I tried, and decided I would color in her drawings. I really wanted to help write the stories, but she always seemed to have the better ideas.


A little while after, when I was about ten and she twelve, I decided, 'What if we wrote a real book?' We had already made an extensive world and plot for our role playing, detailed characters and even had whole scenes played out.

All that was missing were the words.

I pitched the idea to her. She loved it.


This began an exciting year of writing what we called, The Unexpected.


We each had two characters. Mine were Eric and Andromeda. Hers were Ariana and Wilson. These characters had been test experiments for a drug that induces superpowers. Eric had been recruited by the bad guys under the illusion of peace, Andromeda was a neutral party, confused as to which side to chose, and Arian and Wilson had been recruited by S.P.A.C.E.—the organization which gave them their powers. I guess I was always into my morally grey characters, even then!


May was older and quickly took over the task of managing the plot and extra details while I simply wrote the chapters from my character's perspectives.


I cannot tell you how much fun we had. We would text each other ideas, print out what we had written, draw art for our characters (I hope to make a post in the future containing these drawings!), construct detailed character profiles, and act out the scenes before writing them.


Our writing was so immature. It followed no rules, not even of grammar. We wrote whatever came to mind however it came to mind first. It was freeing. It was exciting.


It was during writing this book that I discovered how much I truly loved writing. I knew then I had found a new joy.


Looking back on it now (after watching the movies just a few years ago), I realized she'd shaped the plot more as a Marvel fanfic than anything, but goodness I had fun writing it anyway!


As the book progressed, our ideas of how we wanted it to proceed became radically different. She started writing a backstory for her characters and stopped writing so much on the main story. I wanted to add dragons and have more control over the plot and details than the little I had been given.


When it became to difficult to shape The Unexpected how I wanted it to be, I realized I needed to write my own book.

Shortly after I came up with the idea for my own book, we dropped The Unexpected and packed it away for nostalgic purposes.


As I write this, I have The Unexpected document pulled up. The date on it is 11/24/14. Nearly six years ago. It seems like so long, but reading through it now, I feel as if I am only eleven again. I feel the same I did when I wrote on this story—free.


Writing was freeing. It was thrilling. I was at the top of the world when writing. Anything was possible, even superpowers and dragons.

I can't help but cringe at my eleven year old self's prose, but it doesn't matter. Even through all the times I used 'k' instead of 'okay', or calling someone a 'shrew' the writing shines like gold. It didn't matter that what I was writing was cliché, or badly worded, or that it jumped from first to third person every other chapter. What mattered is that I wrote it. The Unexpected didn't have to be finished to be worth anything. Though it caused me a lot of heart ache to leave it behind, it served its purpose. Not a moment had been wasted writing it. It's job was to simply exist, exist because I wanted to, and exist because I MADE it to.


It never matters how bad your writing is. It doesn't even matter if it never gets finished. What matters is that you are writing.


Maybe you can't hold a plot to save your soul. Maybe you have too many characters. Maybe you use too many commas (calling myself out here big time!). Maybe you don't write everyday. Maybe you've never finished a WIP.


THAT'S OKAY.


Because every word you write is thrilling. It's a dream come true. It's a lesson learned. And, eventually, you will find something that works for you. You'll know exactly where your plot's going to go. You'll know exactly which characters to cut and which to keep. You'll find out how to use periods (I still haven't btw). You'll find that writing schedule. And, eventually, you will find an idea that won't let you leave it alone.


So just be patient! What matters right now is not your age, your place in life, or that your writing is immature. What matters is that you enjoy the journey and don't give up!

May the suns smile upon your presence!


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