How I Started Writing

I didn’t always want to be a writer; I wanted to be Secretary of State. The SoS got to travel all over the world, talk stuff out, and just lead a more interesting life than a small-town girl like me. I saw it all in my head until I was ten years old and my teacher had us each compose a poem for a chance to be published.

I debated with myself over whether or not I should enter. I loved books and poems already but I didn’t know how I could write something good enough for publication. I gave it my best shot.
The Poem:
A Child Is Crying

A child is crying in the night
In spite of the moon’s radiant light

A child is crying I don’t know why
It almost makes me want to cry

A child is crying I’ll give him my love
And pray to the holy God above

I’ll kiss him and hug him the whole night through
Until the night sky turns to blue

Before the contest even ended, I was hooked on writing. I loved the way I could create by stringing together something everyone had available and convey so much. In a way, it made me feel like I was magic. I was the only one out of my class whose poem was included in the anthology.

The unfortunate thing about getting a taste of success so young is it makes you feel more talented than you are. I began a scared, thrilled ten year old with a pen and ended up an eighteen year old with a huge ego when it came to writing. I stopped caring so much about revision or about learning. I didn’t tolerate criticism. But the scariest thing was I stopped listening to just about everyone, even my own voice.

It took me years to get back on track but I am here now. Unfortunately, I now believe myself to not be good enough in almost every aspect but I would rather be unsure of myself and pay extra attention than be overconfident and miss everything I should be learning throughout this experience.

**I tried to keep this short and will probably tell you about just WHAT caused me to wake up some other time. I will also tell you why poetry is the main, though not only, thing I write. Ask me anything you want to.**


  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and I'm glad that you've got back on track and are now open to criticism. I've always believed that nothing is perfect and that there is always room for improvement, especially in art, as long as you remain open-minded. I can tell just by reading the blog that you are exceptionally talented as a writer. I'm sure it is just a matter of time before you find success.

  2. I love your story. I too started at a young age. When I had to choose a major for college, I didn't want writing - it came too easily. What a mistake. You are a very talented person, Jennifer, and I consider it an honor to know you.

  3. Michael: I haven't been an egomaniac for around seven years or so now. I too like feedback, though it is sometimes hard for me to find people to give it to me.

    DM: It used to come too easily to me as well and I think I took it for granted. It isn't just about throwing words around, it is about setting down the RIGHT words.

    Thank you both for the compliments and comments!

  4. I love the poem you wrote when you were ten. It sounds like it was written by someone much older!