My Gateway Drug to Writing

Photo ©2009 by Manoj Vasanth [C.C.-by-2.0]
Photo ©2009 by Manoj Vasanth [C.C.-by-2.0]
How I actually fell in love with writing wasn’t much of a dramatic story. Actually, when I think back about it now, it seems funny how such a small thing could have such a big impact on me. Let me start from the beginning. My first language was Vietnamese and officially set foot on the USA January 2008 in the middle of fourth grade. As with any major changes, it took a while to get used to. I think I might have seen the books at a public library or I may have seen a friend reading it in class, but the next thing I know, my siblings and I were totally in love with Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The series revolved around Greg Heffley’s life in middle school, dealing with fitting in with the popular kids and impressing girls. It was around 2009 when my siblings and I discovered the series and we proceeded to check out all three books in the series at the public library and then would fight over who gets to read it first.

Soon after, Jeff Kinney came out with a “Do-It-Yourself Book”, which is basically a journal formatted like a Wimpy Kid book. I begged my mom to buy me one and she did! I was so excited and promised myself I would write in it every day. I did keep that promise, although it was close to writing four or five times a week. About half the book was dedicated to mini writing activities like writing about what it would be like if you were famous or make a signature for when you are famous. The later half of the book was just filled with lined pages for journaling. Initially, I didn’t intend to use the DIY Book as a journal but after filling out the first “fun” pages, I started writing about little things like what I ate for dinner or what games I had played that day. Before I realized it, the pages were filling up fast and I still liked journaling. After wearing out my DIY Book, I continued in a composition book and soon filled that out. It moved from me writing about seemingly insignificant events in my life to being a place where I could be alone with my thoughts. This continued until when I was in eighth grade. After starting high school, I still kept a journal where I wrote every so often but not as much as I would like to. I’ve been doing better though, as I’ve been writing in it about once or twice a week.

Anyway, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been a gateway that opened me to the world of writing. At first, I had just started writing in it because I was bored, my brother hogging the TV, my sister too busy with schoolwork to play with me, and my parents too busy and tired from work. Before I was realizing it, writing became a part of my middle school life but when I got to high school, I stopped writing as much. A few months ago, I re-read a journal I wrote when I was in seventh grade, chuckling at the fond memories. I don’t know if this is the best way to describe it but just by reading what I wrote, I felt like I was reliving those moments. What I felt when wrote it I could still feel as I was reading the diary.

It was then that I decided that I was going to start writing again.

– Duchess

Check out more of Manoj Vasanth’s work here!


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