I’ve been writing stories since I was ten, and the only way I know this is because I remember having an assignment for language arts back in fifth grade. I remember spending what felt like hours on the assignment. I filled two sheets of notebook paper front to back, and I also remember feeling disgruntled with myself because I hadn’t finished the story when the assignment was due.
From there, I tried to write my first real book in sixth grade, but I had no idea where I wanted the story to go. I didn’t finish that one either.
I found fanfiction.net in the autumn of 2010. I was in seventh grade and I mostly remember reading fanfictions based on the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.
It wasn’t until I saw Tangled in 2012, a year after it came out, that I posted my first fanfiction, Tangled for a Flower. It’s cheesy, maybe even full of some cliches, but I was proud of it when I finished it in 2013. By that time, I had three hundred reviews, forty thousand views (in terms of people clicking on it), and almost ninety followers.
It is one of the many reasons why I’ll leave my (embarrassing) fanfictions online even after I retire. I started on fanfiction.net and rereading my fanfictions allows me to see how my writing has improved, which is a nice thing to see. Sometimes I fear I’m not improving.
I wrote my first book in the summer before my sophompore year, right after I began Tangled for a Flower‘s sequel Caught in a Dream. By December of 2014, I decided (due to my readers getting busy and the small view count) that the series needed a mass revision. That occupied my time for a while and prepared me for how ruthless the editing process can be. The mass revision began in January and I finished in June of 2014. Now, keep in mind that I’ve started other fanfictions in the meantime.
I updated Caught in a Dream one last time in November and decided that I had invested too much in the story to keep trying to update a story that lost its readers. I decided to end the series and I’ve been drafting and redoing several drafts for a book version of the series. I took out all of Disney and the series is pure Taia now. I’m good there.
I’ve written four books since my sophomore year started. I finished Say Something in winter (mid November, late December, or early January – I can’t remember), and finished Princes of Gaboria, the first book of a series, in the summer before my senior year. I wouldn’t say I finished Princes of Gaboria, only because I lost all of my files due to a hardware issue during the middle of writing the first draft. (You can find more information about that here.)
Since last summer, I’ve written two books, both of which I completed within three months: Snow Girl (October to December) and Blood of the Fallen (April to June). Unfortunately, I’ve lost those files as well since my flash drive decided to stop being readable, only like the CD, they are also recoverable. I just need the money to do so.
It is one of the reasons why I’ve started this blog: I need to write about something. You’ll be the first to know when I retrieve all of my files and can begin working on my WIPs (including my fanfics) again.
I wouldn’t call myself an expert in my craft or anything, but I know I’ve improved a hefty amount since freshman year of high school.
I think there’s only one real thing for you to take away from this post:
Always, always, always back up your files.
My flash drive blinked out on me this last go-round, which is why my files are currently gathering dust on it. You never know what can happen and frankly, I think I’m going to start using SD cards.
The files are retrievable, I know it, but I’m in the middle of editing Blood of the Fallen and my mother is acting as my editor for Snow Girl. We need the files right now, so you can imagine how I feel every time I think of my current WIPs.
~Now for the inspiring part of this post~
If you’re writing, you’re a writer. No need to call yourself an aspiring writer. I’ve been writing since I was ten and I didn’t consider myself a writer, even when I was writing fanfics and creating my first characters.
I had to tell myself I was a writer as well when I was writing fanfics. I guess I thought that writing based on someone else’s work didn’t count, but it does, because in the end, you are writing something. I didn’t label myself as a writer until I had finished my first book. I didn’t call myself a writer for four years. There was no need for that.
I think aspiring writers are people who talk about writing and never do it. If you’re writing and have been doing so for a while, regardless if your work is improving in quality or not, you’re already a writer. Besides, your quality will improve as you write more.
No need to tell yourself you’re not a writer. Okay? Good.
Thank you for reading.