As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:
When and why did you begin writing?
This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Herminia Chow. Thanks, Herminia!
Thank you, Rachel, for inviting me to write about writing.
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I learned to pick up a pencil.
I started writing for fun when I was around 12 years old.
I started writing more seriously in high school.
Growing up, I used to read all the time. But I didn’t write much back then. If you asked me when I was a kid whether I’d read and write as much as I do now, I would’ve told you you’re crazy and should go to the doctor to get a check-up.
In elementary, I did better in math than in English for several years. Maybe it’s because my first language is Cantonese. Maybe it’s because math was an easier language to learn so to speak. Maybe it’s because I’m weird.
I used to sit with a girl who could spell much better than I could. And every time I needed to write out a word I didn’t know how to, I asked her. I guess I should thank her. Fortunately, the older I got, the better I could spell. I went from doing quite poorly on spelling quizzes and tests to doing just fine. I guess I should thank myself for reading every night, huh?
I also have to thank my parents for putting up with my trips to the library every few weeks. And later, they would put up with my trips to the bookstore.
At some point, things changed. Right around grade 4 or 5, I think. A teacher recommended I read Bridge to Terabithia. I didn’t have anything better to do, so I did. That book had such a profound effect on me. It’s a book I read forever ago, yet I still remember it. Around that time my grades in Reading and Writing started to change. For the better. I still fell short in Oral Communication. Introvert alert.
I decided I wanted to write a novel in grade 8. 12 years old me must have thought I was too god for fan fiction and short stories. Obviously, I had no idea what I was doing. I couldn’t pull off a short story back then, much less a full-fledged novel. But you live and learn. In retrospect, I have no regrets. I still hope no one ever reads anything I wrote prior to high school, especially that novel. It took me about 2 or 3 years to finish the first draft because I put it away a few times. I guess I just couldn’t wait to create my own characters and worlds. However, when I got into the project, I felt a bit overwhelmed. But the experience is one I will never forget. And if you ask me about my most memorable accomplishment, it’s finishing the first draft of my first novel.
Why did you start writing?
I used to read other people’s work all the time, not just novels but newspaper articles, magazine ads, and everything in between. I loved words. I still do. Reading about fictional characters in fictional worlds inspired me to not only imagine my own but to get them down on paper as well. So I started to do just that. I haven’t looked back since.
Reading and writing were also an escape. I’d be lying if I said I had a perfect, happy childhood. Both allowed me to escape to a different world, if only temporarily.
I write because I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I don’t know how I would pass the time if I couldn’t create or consume good content.
I don’t always feel like writing, but once I pick up a pen and start putting words down on the page, I usually don’t want to stop. It’s insane to think that the characters and worlds I’ve created didn’t exist before. Isn’t it incredible to think that a blank page could turn into a beautiful story?
I almost always seem to lose track of time too when I’m working on a project. Like right now while writing this post. I can’t say the same for other activities.
Creating something is the best feeling. Getting to share it is the cherry on top.
Once again, thanks Rachel for everything. And thank you for reading. I hope you keep writing!
Herminia Chow resides in Canada where she is fond of curling up with good books (and bad ones too), obsessing over her blogs (on WordPress and Tumblr), and coming up with new ideas for stories (or thinking about them). She hopes to major in Book and Media Studies while doing a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. Herminia is a creative writer, a brief blogger, a recreational dancer, and an avid reader of all things.
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