Writing Update: Background and Holding Myself Accountable

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to start posting writing updates on this blog. Here I am doing it. Yeah for sticking to my word!

First, let me give you a little bit of background on my writing journey so far, a journey with many long layovers.

I started writing as soon as I knew how. At 7, when my mom was pregnant with my sister, I used to write short stories that I was planning to read for the baby. However, as soon as she was born and I realised my privileged life as the youngest child was ruined forever (did anyone say drama queen?), I destroyed the notebook and only my mom ever heard these stories. All I remember about them is that one starred a spider as the main character, pretty innovating if I may say so myself.

As I grew older, there was less and less space for creative writing in school, and when there was, it was not taken seriously by the professors. In grade 10, we all had to write our autobiography. Writing a memoir at 16 is a little presumptuous but I took the task very seriously and tried to write something poetic, highlighting the moments that truly impacted my very short life. I took a very long time to write it and was very proud to receive a full grade for my assignment. However, I was less impressed when I realised the professor had not even read it. After this, I gave up on writing at school and since then, writing has always been something that I do on my spare time when I feel inspired (which is not often).

In my third year at university, I decided to join a creative writing group to improve my writing and to get other people’s opinions on it. At this point, I had written a few poems and started a couple of fiction projects but nothing concrete (disclaimer: still nothing concrete on the horizon). Unfortunately, I did not take this opportunity seriously and therefore did not get as much out of the experience as I could have. I think one of the reason was that I was feeling really self-conscious showing my work to native English speakers. Moreover, one of the main stopper to my writing progress is my obsessive perfectionism. I never get the feeling that what I’ve written is done and I could go on editing for the rest of my life. Because of this, I get discouraged very quickly. In terms of what I write, I’ve always been into fiction. I currently have 3 projects that I have started, two of them are in English and one in French. I find that being bilingual can make writing harder As I sometimes find the perfect sentence or expression in one language and can’t apply it to the other. This can get extremely frustrating.

Oh the cheesiness!!

When I finished my BA, I knew that I was going to have 6 months off school and I was determined to devote that time to writing more. We are now 4 months in and very little writing has been done (surprise, surprise!). That is why I’m here now. 

I’m choosing to start this segment so that I somehow feel “obligated” to write. The word “obligated” might be a bit strong.  What I mean is that I want to write on a more regular basis because I enjoy it but I’m having a hard time making it part of my routine. Therefore, holding myself accountable by involving the inter-webs (the few people that take the time to read my poorly assembled thoughts) might induce me to up my writing game. We’ll see how that goes next week.




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