Evidence of My Writerly Beginnings

(www.inkthinkerblog.com) — I started journaling at the age of 10 thanks to my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Shotwell. Everyone was required to journal for something like 20 minutes every day, but I quickly started sneaking my journal home for extra time.

Recording my life became a cherished habit, and I’ve recently started re-reading my journals from middle school and high school. Although the entries are alternately hilarious and poignant, few of them are actually about the practice of writing with the exception of brief remarks here and there about the progress of my novel (which, incidentally, I have never finished and need to revisit, because it actually didn’t totally suck!).

This particular entry and its continuation the following day struck me as particularly appropriate to share with my writing friends.

Monday, August 5, 1996

Dear Me of the Future,*

I think when I die, I will leave specific instructions as to which journal entries I absolutely do NOT want published. Just in case, I mean.

Tuesday, August 6, 1996

Dear Future Me,

…Anyway, supposing that my journal is publsihed for any reason, there are definitely more than a few things I do not want the public to see:

  1. My list of reasons to hate R.D. (5th Grade)
  2. A few of my assorted crushes (meaning nearly all)
  3. When I got my period
  4. My brief period of R.L. love letters**
  5. And anything else I can think of.

I just had a thought (gasp!). What if I were to go back through my journals, starting w/ 5th grade, and pick out assorted entries to compile into a short book. I would fictionalize each and change it around enough to keep others from noticing the similarities, add a few space fillers, and create a story about a girl who is growing up, or trying to, anyway, based upon my experiences. I’ll let you know more as my idea develops, ‘kay?

Okay, I luv voo, bye-bye,

Kristen E. Skove***

* Several entries back, I had written this: “Dear Me of the Future (not Journal, but me of the future since I’ll be looking back on this and laughing hysterically).” How right I was.

** A few months earlier, I had sent a series of anonymous love letters to this boy my friend-who-I-was-in-a-fight-with had a crush on, writing them as though I was her!

*** I signed my name three different times in fancy, swirly script and drew little cat faces and tails on the E and K.

In a later post that I can’t locate at the moment, I said something along the lines of, “I thought about describing my idea to a prominent author and asking them to write it, but then I thought, ‘Why not write it myself?'” once I had outlined my novel idea. Heh.

When did you start writing?

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

6 comments… add one
  • Kristen

    Wow, at a young age- I remember my fifth grade teacher telling me I’d be a good writer. As a child, I had a desire to journal. There was and still is something about writing that is refreshing, liberating and satisfying. I still have writings from my early high school years.

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  • Susan Dec 21, 2008

    Kristen,
    Hilarious! Have you heard of Morified? I did a dramatic reading of my high school journals here in Boston, and it was a LOT of fun. Looks like they are looking for participants in DC, too: http://getmortified.com/live/casting/. Cheers!
    Susan

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  • Lori Dec 22, 2008

    The big question – are you still thinking it’s a good list of no-nos? :))

    I don’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. My sister and I had a newspaper before either of us were 10. I wrote poetry in 6th grade. But it wasn’t really until I was about 16 when I realized that I was a writer.

    Lori´s last blog post..Ending the Work Week (and Year) on the Upswing

  • Vanessa Jan 2, 2009

    That’s so funny. I actually look back on my journals from time to time. They are hilarious to say the least.
    It’s so funny to look back on the things that seemed so important then.

    Vanessa´s last blog post..Not So Happy Holidays

  • Kate Jan 4, 2009

    Cute posting. I thing most writers get their start in those personal forms like journals.

    Kate´s last blog post..I May Be A Geek

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