I started writing at a young age, as most do when they learn to write their name. But it wasn’t until high school I took interest in the literary world. However, I hadn’t directly taken a pen and start creating a novel. I was, at first, a reader, an audience for other literary geniuses. What urged me to be a writer was a matter of personal satisfaction rather than an obligation. I wrote not for an audience but to myself – as many do. I wrote down emotions, dreams, and ideas. Anything that sparks my mind.
Though I had my fair share of challenges and struggles in my personal life, it didn’t hinder me from stopping to write stories. But I don’t claim I’m good at the job. Nonetheless, I make most of the capabilities I have. A fact, a known one, to those who knew me, I have my fair share of struggles with grammar. But I learned and improved myself through practice and reading. A small battle I have to overcome to help me in venturing further in the literary community.
It was also during high school I decided to publish work online, my first literary piece. However, at that time, I didn’t have the will and courage to continue and finish the story. Maybe it might have something to do with my low self-esteem or I wasn’t ready. But that hasn’t impeded me from trying again in the future. After that experimental test, I’ve started to get interested in relearning how to compose any literary work. I did essays, some poems, and short stories. It wasn’t until I was half-way through college that I found a new writing platform to experiment and express myself.
My sister introduced me to Wattpad around the end of 2012. I joined the community as a reader first. I got acquainted with some of its writers, reading their works, before deciding on trying again. Of course, it was a tall task for me since I have no experience in writing novel-length stories. So, I started small. Something I’m a bit familiar with. A short story.
The first story I posted on my Wattpad account, Melon Diaries, was titled ‘It Begins with You.’ When I wrote the short story, I was sitting in a coffee shop, writing it on a whim. I even had to close my eyes when I pressed the publish button. Then, I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Until, finally, I got my first feedback. The comments and critics I’ve received for it weren’t novel worthy. It was constructive criticism. But then, each one who did comment urged me to write more.
Most critics or readers forget that no matter how harsh or truthful their opinion can be; you’re directing your words at a person with a dream. So, inspire them to write or practice the craft as encouragement goes a long way. It can’t all be bad. Let’s not diminish a person’s quality based on their first work. Always give someone room to grow. And to those who had given me that encouragement, I’m grateful for those words until now.
Fast forward to two years in the writing community, in my third year in college, things had gotten demanding, and at that point. I had decided to take a break. But I never did. And I never could. Writing had become a part of my daily life. It felt like I’m depriving myself of life itself. So, I found a way and compromised. I’m not saying there weren’t sacrifices I made—like sleep for instance—but it was all worth it. That year, I was awarded Wattpad’s annual writing award called, the Watty’s, in the general fiction genre as Talk of the Town for my novel, Meeting Mr. Mogul.
Perseverance and dedication were necessary to achieve those goals. I know then I wasn’t yet at my peak. And it was a long road from then on.