I’ve been driven to read and write my entire life. From elementary school to high school, I was one of the kids who loved book fairs for more than the crazy pens and erasers. While many of my peers fidgeted with every gadget by the register or immediately gravitated to the graphic novel section, I pined over gripping mysteries, sweet, young girl “slice of life” or “bildungsroman” stories, fantastical series, you name it. I remember begging my grandma in the fourth grade to buy me the entire Series of Unfortunate Events collection, including 13 installments. The funny part is that I’d already read them. My justification? I needed them for my kids to read someday!
Oddly enough, our house was consumed by a snowstorm that winter that left us without power for days, and I read the books to my family as entertainment. The series consumes half a shelf on its own, and every book in it has a young intellect’s name and address caringly etched on the inside cover. I loaned The Bad Beginning to a younger cousin, and though she’s not my child, she illustrates the purpose I had in mind back when I begged for them– perpetuating the legacy of the series for another generation. I didn’t possess the ability to understand such an abstract emotion at the time, but despite the books already having lost their novelty (ha), I felt magnetized to them in unexplained ways. Holding them, having them, seeing them aligned neatly on the shelf–it made my heart flutter contentedly. Even now, I’m overcome by a sense of wonder, adventure, and freedom when I hold a good book. Some would call it sublimity.
I composed my first song at age 8, lyrics sloppily written on pink and white stationery. The chorus goes, “Summer vacation, ooh ooh ooh! Summer vacation, ooh ooh ooh! You’re lookin’ cool ‘cause you just got out of school.” My mother, a wonderful singer, gave my lyrics a tune and made it plausibly sound like some one-hit-wonder. Whether in a physical notebook or on Notepad on the single family computer, I wrote countless songs, poems, stories, and even skits over the years. Most of them remain unfinished, and most of them represented a fantasy version of myself in some way, my protagonists usually a girl that I subconsciously admired or would hypothetically befriend. As I gained in years, my writing interests matured, though only comparatively. My repertoire included several angsty love songs by age 16; though my teen spirit led to a few pithy lines and impressive rhymes, most of my work from that era evokes a lighthearted cringe when I read it again. Aside from extracurricular writing, I also wrote many articles for our newspaper in high school, primarily editorials and features. I was fortunate to have a journalism teacher who let my natural talent and sensibilities burgeon with few limitations and helpful criticism I have carried through the years.
During college, I’ve read many books both for academic purposes and for fun. I’m honing my professional writing and editing skills, but the creative writer–the whimsical, ambitious girl–still thrives in my soul. Writing is the pinnacle of my life, and my narcissism motivates me to perfection. Perfection is achieved through practice and patience. Subscribing that advice to writing means editing my work. To the typical student or professional, the idea of editing seems unnecessary, a burden reserved for overachievers like myself. Honestly, most people’s lack of expertise in fine English skills renders them incapable of effectively editing their own work. I am dedicating this blog to sharing information that will help you edit your work, but I am also extending my personal editing services starting in 2018! I hope that through this new blog project, I can educate you on the vitality of editing to good writing while entertaining you with dashes of wit and personal tales along the way.