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An apology to my tweenage writer self

Regarding all this writing I just pulled out of the closet: adolescent Zoey, I think I have some apologizing to do.

I’m sorry I haven’t started working on that book of ours yet. I knew you wanted to write one, but I didn’t realize how thoroughly it weighed on your soul until I read it over and over again in some of your old personal writing. (Source: Multiple reluctant “letters to future self” in which you lay out the goal of writing a book someday because “I’m a really good author.)

I’m sorry I read Harry Potter (over and over) and little else for four years. Perhaps a little more variety would have helped us avoid that tendency toward overdoing adjectives and expending precious words on irrelevant description. We were also really heavy on the thesaurus use, which was good for learning words, but didn’t really come with a usage guide, did it? (Source: “His heart began to palpitate arrhythmically inside his leaden chest.”)

A journal entry from Zoey, age 11

A journal entry from Zoey, age 11

I’m sorry for neglecting your zeal for hockey writing when I became a journalist. But I admire you for the stories you wrote at home and pinned to your bedroom door to update your uninterested family during the 2002 IIHF World Hockey Championships. They were cute and wordy, even if they led to an English assignment deemed “TOO LONG!” by one teacher.

I’m sorry I stopped writing short stories. But that one you wrote in Grade 9 about the actor escaping the “Canadian Mafia” over $3500 he needed to spend on hair gel wasn’t as good as you thought it was. You really let it go downhill after setting the opening scene in the “old ladies underwear aisle at Value Village” (a space sure to be empty).

On the other hand, I’m sorry I was too vain to edit that story to cut the word count and submit it to the contest in junior high. It couldn’t have hurt to have feedback from someone other than those who you ate breakfast with and your tough Language Arts teacher. (Source: That story with Latin and talking dragons and turncoat wizards.)

An English class short story assignment

A high school English short story assignment during a unit on Gothic literature.

I’m sorry I didn’t buckle down and write more and more often sooner. But I’m glad we did what we did. Just remember, all that time you spent in Harry Potter chat rooms could have been used toward that first novel.

And thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the short stories, goofy chat room conversations, doodles, essays and carefully printed journal entries. Thanks for getting us where we are today.

Have you recently read something your younger self wrote? What was it like? Do let me know in the comments.

Filed under: Blog, Humour, Personal, Writing

About the Author

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I am a writer living under a pile of scrap paper and unopened fan mail from the cable company. I believe a messy desk is simply a sign of inspiration waiting to be uncovered. But I’m biased. More from me on Twitter: @zoeywrites


  1. Once I decided writing a romance novel would be easy so I gave it a half-arsed go. I found some of my attempts saved on a USB recently . Oh dear god it was eye wateringlly bad.


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