The growth of a writer is measured in words and sentences, in the way they are able to construct more intricate meaning with each paragraph. After having taken up writing for about seven years, this is what I’ve noticed.
Looking back, my writing was never bad, it was just bare. I wrote simpler, in simpler terms and plots. It seemed to me, more like reading an outline of a story, than an actual finished work. I noticed how I put things together differently, I made different word choices. This was interesting to me because I always thought of my writing as fairly constant. The differences between a seven year old story and a novel I’m writing now were staggering to me.
A huge difference that was immediately noticeable was grammar. I had jumped into writing without really knowing how to properly apply grammar in regards to dialogue and switching between dialogue and actions. The second difference came in the stylistic approach. I was clearly writing with my hands outstretched in the dark, groping for a style that felt right. My work now has a definite style that is unique to me.
I had turned to writing during my grade ten year of high school as my anxiety disorder appeared. It was a means to capture my feelings and my confusion, my fear and my sadness. Reading through the stories I had written during that time, they had an ever present theme of those emotions. I’m glad to say my themes are another difference. My work comes from a much lighter and happier place, not to say that I still don’t draw from those dark times when needed, but I write now to create, not to escape.
One thing I had noticed that had stayed the same was my use of metaphors and similes. I love description, comparing things to something else entirely. This was probably due to the fact that I had started in poetry. The description poured out of me and over the pages and instead of poetry, stories were formed.
My old works are almost embarrassing to read, given how amateurish they sound, but we all have to start somewhere. Each time you write something new, you are able to hone your skills, test out new techniques and figure out what sounds like you. We are never finished, we are always growing.