I have been writing stories and poems almost all my life and as somebody who has only just recently tumbled out their childhood dusted with innocence and glitter (obviously), I thought I’d share with you my journey as a writer and my journey as a little person into a slightly bigger person.
Also second post in one night, I’m spoiling you.
I started writing when I was about five years old and I used to hand make little books (complete with illustrations). I remember making a book in the garden about wolves (that’s all I can remember) and being very proud, but then I discovered that as I was writing my debut novel all my crayons had melted in the summer’s heat. This is actually very reflective on my creative evolution (that’s a thing) as a child, because I used to be very good at drawing, but the writing took over and I neglected my art. Now I literally struggle to draw a stick man. The little handmade books with one sentence on each page, were just like the books I used to read when I was really young – my earlier works are inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other such novels.
As I got slightly older I started to write slightly bigger books. There’s one that I wrote called My Cat Fluff about a stray cat that gets found by a nice girl, probably called Ella or Isabelle (common names for all female characters at this stage in my life) My Year 3 teacher liked my book so much, that she laminated it and then started up a ‘class library’ where we’d all share the stories we’d written with our classmates for reading. This was probably the last time I shared my writing with anyone my age (a few exceptions) so when I say I’m a writer and poet, they probably think I’m writing My Cat Fluff Volume 25 featuring abstract poetry.
When writing books like this, I was obsessed with Holly Webb’s series about abandoned animals, so that might have been a slight influence.
And also pretty much every character I wrote reflected how I was, I even described them to look like me. I think that’s because I was the only little girl I knew well enough to describe and also I really wanted a cat at the time, so depicting myself in a fantasy setting getting a cat was very fun.
Update: I now have a cat, she is currently sitting on my knee purring. She is my best friend.
I then started to write fantasy ‘books’ when I was around 8 or 9. This was the time when I was discovered Harry Potter and JK Rowling (the love of my life), so of course I went under the name of AC Harrison when signing my books. I was also influenced by Enid Blyton and came up with original gems such as ‘The Enchanted Forest’ or ‘The Magical Garden’ Although not all of my books were knock offs. I did do a full novel about this sort of fantasy place featuring all my friends as elves/fairies etc but it did finish with ‘and it was all a dream’ Not the most original ending.
When I was around eleven years old, I was doing my end of primary (elementary) school exams and when teaching you how to write as a child the general message is ADD AS MANY ADJECTIVES AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, NEVER SAY ‘AND’ OR ‘SAID’ BAD WORDS BAD WORDS. PUNCTUATE ALL THE TIME WITH SEMI COLONS, VARY YOUR SENTENCE STRUCTURE EVERYTHING’S A METAPHOR. And being the budding writer that I was, I completely took this on board and basically at this age my sentences were stacked full of thesaurus found words and long winded similes.
During this time, I wrote a highly gory book called ‘Going Solo’ which was actually a sci-fi novel, probably influenced by my passion for Dr Who.
I wrote my first poems when I was 11-12. I can’t tell you they were any good, but in all fairness, poetry is hard and I think I did better than most kids my age. I wrote a poem for my Grandma when she died and they put it on the back of the leaflet-thing for her funeral. It wasn’t very good, but I can’t really write under pressure. I also had a 60 page document on my computer holding a ton of almost mass produced poems, that files on the old laptop that we threw away, it’s a shame I’ll never read them.
Until late 2014 and early 2015 I stopped writing and reading too. My writing had traveled with me and the poem I wrote for my Grandma when she died probably put a stopper on my childlike imagination. A lot happened in 2014 and it’s something I struggle to talk about and when I returned to writing I was a baby once again to the world of words. I wrote sci-fi first, picking up where I’d left off, but I soon found my niche when I wrote a short story called Wonder. It’s a defining moment in my style. I read a lot more sophisticated literature, exploring the genres and looking back, it makes me realize how much reading can improve a writer. I produced a lot of stories and early poetry in 2015. I started writing Noodle Panda around December time and even though I know I’ll never finish the editing (fallen out of love) I’ve learned a lot from the experience. Although I HATE the first draft chapters I posted on my blog, because I know that’s not a true representation of the kind of writer I am, it frustrated me and I honestly feel ashamed.
I picked up poetry in late 2015 and have only recently found a style I’m fairly happy with, although my poetry is in its infancy and I know that it will change and improve as I get older.
I’ve realized whilst writing this, how much my life is reflected in my writing. I am so aware everyday of how much I’m changing and growing. I’m so glad I wrote everything down as I grew up, random little stories from a random little girl dismissed as ‘odd’ or ‘strange’ or ‘funny’ I thank her very much for having faith in her abilities and to the authors who have influenced me, I owe this all to you.
Thank you so much for reading,