I have always been a writer. I can remember my dreams of writing a novel from when I was very little.
But I never attempted it. Not until I was about twelve and my sister and I went into a collaboration that somehow ended in both of us writing different books; we didn't have a fight or anything, our plots just drifted away.
Mine took me the best part of six years to bring to a conclusion--and it still needs work.
A nice contrast with my latest works: Elfboy, which took less than three months; and its two sequels, each of which took me less than three weeks.
What happened to help me write so much faster (and definitely better)?
Well, a number of things. I stopped playing games with my siblings, I learned to prioritize, and I learned that writing books was more fun and fulfilling than reading them.
And I found WtW.
I came here by accident. 100% accident as far as I know.
It was just this past August.
My sister was getting married in a month and I wanted to at least earn the money to pay for my bridesmaid dress. The only two ways I had of doing that were my needlework and my writing. I tried knitting and crocheting things like hats and scarves to sell. And I do love needlework, but I can only do so much before I get totally brain-dead.
I decided to try a less stressful course and enter a piece of my writing in a contest.
I did a Google search for writing contests and WtW came up. I decided to check it out.
The contest going on right then was personal narrative--way not my favorite, but I needed to try. I decided to polish up a piece I’d written a while ago and use it. That piece was A Lesson In Cards, definitely not the best of my writing or my experiences, but I entered it anyway.
Then I realized that I had to join the community. I had been seventeen years without social media and I didn’t really want to start then. Really, the idea scared me a good bit.
I asked my mom if it was all right to join until the contest was over. She said O.K.
I got on the site and opened an account, putting up a random flower picture for my profile and writing a bunch of my favorite things in my bio. I thought it should at least not be blank while I waited for the contest to end.
During the next few days, I would scroll through the dashboard, mingling carefully with few people. I might as well enjoy it while it lasted, right?
Before I knew it, I had followers, was following, and getting minuscule popularity for my works.
My first review (a really bad one if you ask me:) was for Luna Lemon. I caught sight of her poem ‘Under Every Stone’ on the dashboard and was so intrigued by it that I wrote a review on the spot. She, being the awesome person she is, commented on it back and forth with me for a good bit, forging my first real friendship on here.
That poem also inspired me to try writing some free-form poetry of my own, of which I have now published a large quantity.
After about a week, I saw the rise of the Corner Writing Club. I thought it might be a good chance to hone my reviewing skills as well as receive some feedback. It was, and also triggered friendship number two when _TJNR@cheshire_ and I were assigned to review each other's pieces.
Things started to go pretty good and I was having fun. When I lost the contest, I forgot to leave.
For a while, I just wrote random stuff, enjoying about thirty followers and reviewing as much as I could, which I still do because I love it (hopefully getting better).
Things took a huge turn when I entered the novel writing competition with the first chapter of Elfboy.
I spent hours asking people to read it, review it, or whatever. I followed, commented, and liked—all the while trying to promote my book. I never expected the massive support I got.
Not everybody responded, but those who did amazed me. Because of their support, I posted twenty-five chapters on here. Almost every time I published, I came back to find almost twenty notifications awaiting me (the record was over fifty). Hardly believing that anyone would stay with me that long to read all of it, I was totally flabbergasted when they did.
The friends I made while I was posting it have been some of my closest and I can still hardly believe the way they came out of the woodwork: korra4life, RNE, AminahMcBina—whom I really miss, Suhanee_The_Intellect, Majestically Awkward Manatee, Silver Pen, Mangolover, Dmoral13, nesi_nez. (If I missed your name, I’m really sorry) My older friends, Luna Lemon, _TJNR@cheshire_, and also the two hosts of the CWC, RainAndSonder and Paperbird, were still there too. I was amazed.
Especially when I finished posting the book and they still stuck with me.
I started posting another book--Fairy Chains--but since I'm still working on Elfboy, it's going to take longer to put that one up.
So, I came to WtW by accident and didn't leave. I don't plan to either. This site has given me so much support, coaching, friendship, and just plain awesomeness that I will stay until I have to leave. During my experience on here, I've learned to give honest, constructive, and supportive feedback; I've written three book drafts, I've made more friends than ever in my life, and had amazing fun.