Sndbox Summer Camp Writing - Task 1 : The student's journey
This post is a submission for the first part of the @Sndbox summer camp writing Quest. If you want to learn more about this initiative, you can check out the introduction post by @anomadsoul here and the further information about the quest by @guyfawkes4-20 here
In this post i’ll be a talking about my journey so far in the world of writing, what led me to where I stand today, what triggered my initial love for writing and so on. I hope you’ll enjoy this little trip down memory lane.
My time in High School
I’ve always been the most average student you could imagine. Apart from sports, I didn’t exceed in anything at school. My languages (expect for French) were fine, my math was okay, history, religion or geography didn’t interest me that much but I could find the motivation to study the lessons if needed etc. It was a pretty easy time, since my grades were fine and in the end that was all that mattered for my teachers and my family. The only thing I lacked was passion, something that could really motivate me
In the 11th grade, something happened that changed that a little. I got a new teacher for my classes Dutch. He was known as a very strict man, and I didn’t really look forward to the upcoming year. Soon it became clear that he was a big fan of literature and he started challenging our class to read short stories by Kafka or same more advanced books like The Perfume by Patrick Süskind. He was the first teacher that didn’t give us any choice in the books we had to read. He wanted us to develop our taste for literature, and although I was very sceptical at first, I liked what he was doing.
A few months later, he ordered us to write a collective story. A student had to start with writing a short narrative, and each week another student had to continue from where we left. Almost every one of my classmates hated this task, but I loved it. I started offering my help to some students in exchange for other homework. I would write their short story, and they would complete another assignment for me. After a while, though, our teacher suspected that these stories were written by the same student, and he stopped his class to find out the truth. I admitted what was going on, but he wasn’t angry with me. He simply said I should continue writing.
My years in College
The remark of that teacher always lingered in the back of my mind. I sometimes had a period where I began writing a story, but I always stopped as soon as I started. I never was pleased with the things I wrote, and since I couldn’t quite put the finger on all the mistakes that were made, I couldn’t find the strength to start fixing them. Every time I started writing something, I got confronted with my own incapabilities. I failed every time, and got demotivated.
I stopped writing for years. The only writing I did was for school assignments. I still believed that I was better than average in finding the right words, or in constructing a certain piece so that it read fluently, or in writing without spelling/grammar mistakes, but I wasn’t convinced anymore that I had it in me to write anything else but non-fiction.
As a college student, and I guess as a standard adolescent, I often had moments where I was emotionally in a bad place. I’m a very introspective person at heart, and so I was constantly searching for my true self, for things that could make me happy or could guide me in times where I felt miserable. I found out that, in moments where I really felt bad, it helped when I could put some things on paper. Writing about my problems, offered me a way to define them and look for answers to resolve them.
After a while I even found enough courage to show these little introspective “works” to my loved ones. As an adolescent I was more than ever very to myself, which made it hard for my peers to know what was going on and how they could help me feel better. After I showed these “feeling-dumps” to my parents and siblings, they finally understood what was going on inside my head for the past months. They never really put in into words at the time, but I think it was a big relief for everyone involved that I had found a way to share and cope with my feelings.
My first appearance on Steemit
Last year I got introduced to cryptocurrencies. I loved the technology behind bitcoin and ethereum and was excited to learn about all these different coins. During that research I stumbled upon Steemit, and I decided to give it a shot. I hadn’t been writing for a long time, and the monetarily incentive, combined with the thought of supporting a blockchain-based project, made me sign up. I’ve always been very active on Reddit, so maybe this could be a solid replacement. I very enthusiastically started blogging and searching for interesting and qualitative content. I quickly joined a few communities on Discord, and in the first week I already got a big upvote from @ocd on one of my articles and shortly after that some other upvotes from @ocd on two of my Dutch articles. I was more motivated than ever, and that event was a confirmation that I still had the writing skills in me.
The Writer’s Block
Since I started to join some communities on Discord, I quickly got in touch with some very inspiring and smart people. I think it was a post of @nobyeni that made me join a community called The Writer’s Block, a group of people that support and edit each others works, be it fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poems… The people in there welcomed me with open arms and I eagerly started writing some stuff to put into their queue, since I was extremely interested in their feedback. They gave me a link to a bunch of articles for beginning writers, and I started to consume all this new information like a madman.
After that I couldn’t write a word for a couple of days. All the new information made me understand that I was nowhere near a decent writer. I always just did my thing without ever considering all the thought and planning that goes into writing a solid story. I had a hard time adapting all the new information into my style of writing, but the Block stayed very supportive and told me to take my time and start experimenting with the new information when I was ready for it.
So that’s where we are now. I know i’m not the best writer the world had ever seen, and more then ever I understand that i’ll have to read and work extremely hard to reach my goals of writing a book. It might take me years before i’ll get to that point, but that’s okay. Now I’m dipping my toes in the world of short stories, as an exercise to get better at writing in deep POV - Which I love writing in - and develop my character arcs, story plots etc. I love to lose myself in the eyes of someone I helped to create, and to write a story in a way that people really can be another person. That’s an art I want to perfect, and excel at.
The Writer’s Block and the different contests on Steemit motivate me to write daily, even though I don’t always have the desired motivation or inspiration. I want to become a better writer, and I have every tool available at the moment to make that a success. I’m surrounded with very talented and supportive people, which I appreciate tremendously. I guess that brings me to the reason why I would love the Sndbox community as well. I want to meet as many people as possible to learn from and be the best version of myself, as a writer and as a community member. I always want to give back to the communities that supported me along the way, and I find great pleasure in elevating each other to new highs, empowering each others strengths and supporting each others weaknesses so that they don’t discourage and overwhelm us. I also want to support the Dutch communities on steemit to the best of my abilities. At the moment I'm a curator at #alldutch, and that's something I really love doing. It would be nice if i could come up with new ways to reward qualitative and rewaring (Dutch) content on this platform. Furthermore I hope to share my love for writing with as many peope as possible, in every creative way we can come up with. I hope that together with the Sndbox community we can make that happen.
That’s it! Thanks to everyone that took the time to read this. If you have any questions or want to share your story, feel free to leave a comment down below!
See you next time.