For all writers, there’s a time and place that we remember fondly as the true starting point of our writing journey.
For me, I was in high school, taking a creative writing class. I can’t remember which year of high school, but I’m sure it was freshman or sophomore year. And although I had experimented with my mother’s typewriter for years, sitting at her oak desk, my first real exposure to a dedicated writing practice came in high school.
My buddy Matt Loe and I were in the same class and I remember staying up late on a weekend, usually Friday night, working on our creative writing assignment due the next following week. Matt’s mom had a nice office and a couple of electric word processor machines, so we’d gather weekend nights in that office and focus on our stories or essays for our class.
We’d pour cup after cup of coffee, drinking the caffeine-riddled drink for hours while typing on the word processors, making our stories come to life. I can’t say that the stories were any good, but Matt and I didn’t fail the class.
Regardless of what grade we got in the class or what the teacher or other students thought of our writings, it helped me establish a love and passion for writing and the art of storytelling.
Along with my mom having the patience to read with me in kindergarten, it was another key milestone in my journey to become a professional writer.
But somehow, after high school, my passion for writing died out and wouldn’t be rekindled until I was in my early 30s.
I had written poetry again and began publishing some of my poems online through Tumblr. About six months after posting my first poem on Tumblr, I stumbled across a typed poem on Instagram. The piece belonged to a writer who signed his pieces with r. m. drake.
I guess you could say discovering R.M. Drake was another turning point in my writing career. Because finding that typed poem and later discovering an entire community of writers and poets on Instagram gave me the courage to post more of my poems on the photo-sharing app.
Within a few months, I went from 0 followers to thousands. And after just a couple years, I had shot up to over 33K followers on Instagram. Having people from all over the world read my poems gave me the courage to publish my first poetry collections.
In summary, the three pivotal points in my writer’s journey were:
- My mother having the patience to make sure I gained the reading skills to be literate
- Getting a taste of writing and storytelling in my high school creative writing class
- Finding the Instapoetry community and having the courage to share my poems with the world
In closing, here’s a question for you:
What were the most memorable or pivotal moments of your writer’s journey?