Word Count: Hello and Welcome to My Brain


Dear new friends and old enemies,

Welcome to the first instalment of Word Count, a regular series of posts by a young writer for other young writers. My life story is as follows: I moved to a new city when I was seventeen so that I could do what I’m doing now, which is make my way through university as a Creative Writing major at a Canadian institution. When I say “make my way,” that includes floundering, wandering aimlessly, staggering and striding with the ease and confidence of a majestic gazelle in its natural habitat.

I’ve had a lot of people—friends and the friends thereof, recent high school graduates, and the generally inquisitive—ask me about my experience so far. Studying creative writing has been about a lot of things, not just learning practical skills in an academic environment. I’m hoping to share some of my experiences and vague expertise. When I first received my letter of acceptance back in grade twelve, I was pretty sure there must have been some mistake. That ominous feeling only swelled as I walked into my first workshop, and sat down in one of the fifteen seats in the room, next to a man who looked old enough to be my uncle’s uncle. And he wasn’t even my professor.

“Alma’s first class; a tale of confusion and nervous sweat” is a story for another post, and I’m not claiming to be the authority on what it’s like to be a young writer. But nervous sweat has been a big part of my university experience, and I haven’t dropped out yet so I think there’s something to be said for that.