Responding to Readers: My Writing Past

Over the last week I have been posting a variety of things that revolve around creative writing. Just as you may have guessed, I’ve been bitten by the creative writing bug and have been taking advantage of it to create content for my personal blog.

On my latest post, I received a comment that I thought could be expanded and turned into a full post rather than a simple comment reply. I wanted to use it as a springboard on talking about my writing history. While there isn’t much to talk about, the question warrants the telling.

A Well Aged Cuban Wrote:

Hi Walt, very nice work. The best one yet in my humble opinion.
Have you ever done any creative writing classes or anything? I was part of a writers workshop a few years ago and I really loved it. The guy who ran the workshop would always say ‘Write, doesn’t matter what, just write’. Anyway, I hope you keep it up.
I was far too lazy and very easily distracted! Cheers.

I’ve been writing on and off for as long as I can remember. I was once told that before I could read and write coherently, I would scribble random letters and words onto paper when bored. This ultimately turned into short stories as a I got older.

I can only recall ever having written fiction and most of what I wrote was modeled after myself. Writing in this way seemed to open up my imagination and make describing the protagonist simple. The older I got, the more I branched out into more diverse characters.

When I was in Middle School, my writing began to stand out and grab the attention of various English teachers. Each day we would be given time to write in our journals. There was a fifty-word minimum to these assignments and they often carried no strict topic. In the allotted time, my entries generally turned into two-hundred word stories. I found it entertaining to be able to take such a simple assignment and make it something that I enjoyed doing.

In my High School years, I began hearing from various teachers that I should consider going to college to take up creative writing. I would have considered it, but my nemesis was grammar. It was the one thing that sucked all of the fun out of writing assignments. Ultimately, it was the reason why I had virtually no interest in furthering my education in that area.

When I reached my sophomore year in High School, I made a decision that I wanted to take up a trade and build cabinetry and furniture. I spent half of my school day in a traditional classroom and the other half at a technology center.

I found little time to write for fun and stuck strictly to the assignments given in class. The college suggestions continued to come, but I just put on a smile and gave a light nod whenever the subject came up.

Just as there was a reduction in my writing, I also began to read less. This trend of little time spent reading and writing continued after I graduated High School and took on a full time job as a Cabinetmaker. While I excelled in my cabinetmaking class in high school and did well on the job, I wanted to expand my horizons and be more valuable as an employee.

Several years out of High School, I decided that I wanted to go back to school and learn Architectural Drafting. My thoughts were that since I had spent years building furniture, it would give me an edge when it came to designing cabinets. Just like my choice in High School, I did very well as a drafter and quickly excelled in the classroom.

Along with the drafting classes, I took a variety of others to earn an Associates Degree. Among those classes were Business English and Technical Writing. I did very well in both of those courses, with the exception of the grammar portion of the Business English class, and found myself excited about writing again.

Technical Writing was rather dull but I found it relatively simple to type up the documentation required for the class. This was also around the same time that I began doing more and more writing for Stogie Review.

When my schooling was complete, my writings for Stogie Review increased and I found myself writing primarily for the new cigar smoker in an educational fashion. This writing resulted in a handful of Guest Articles on a couple of different cigar sites. I opened up this personal blog as a way to get my writing fix and expand the topics of my writing.

My writing here and at Stogie Review lead to my being published in the March 2010 issue of Cigar Snob magazine. A few months prior to that publication, a piece of my work was printed as an educational pamphlet for customers of an online lighter store.

On a whim, I decided to get back to writing fiction and try my hand at a story where I was out walking Syrus when I was attacked by Zombies. The reaction to the change of pace was positive and I decided to do a little more creative writing. I began poking around the web and came across Write Anything and their Fiction Friday Prompts.

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