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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

I really, really love to write; I mean, I really love to. Fiction and epic fantasy writing: that’s what I love the most. And I’m talking about novels, not short stories or poems. Writing short stories and poems is a hobby for me. Writing novels is my big dream. 

Simple poems and short stories can be hard enough to write; imagine writing a whole novel. That’s what I’m currently doing! And you know what? It’s a damn hard thing to do! It’s a very grueling process; it would be so easy to give up on it. But honestly, I’ve never wanted to quit. Because even though writing is hard, it’s also such a joy for me. And if I want to be happy with myself and my work in my life, I can’t take the easy way out… right? 

You see, I came to love writing in high school. Before I ever considered writing novels, I was drawn to fun and cringey fanfictions on Wattpad. I didn’t think of becoming a real writer. I was just doing this for fun. But then something happened: my fanfictions gained a pretty big following. I started earning a lot of followers on Wattpad due to my fanfictions, with several people commenting on how good my writing was. It came as a bit of a shock to me. I mean, who knew? I was good at writing? I was stunned at this revelation.

So, a couple years of fanfiction writing later, in my senior year of high school, I officially decided that I would do my best to become a serious author. I knew this would mean giving up fanfiction writing. I mean, how can I be a real writer if I’m using the characters of other authors’ stories? It was time for me to create my own characters and my own stories. So, I made an announcement on my Wattpad page, and my followers voiced their support! They seemed happy for me now that I’d decided to pursue my dream. It excited me even more, to think that I had the encouragement of my followers. I got to work right away. 

Then, something else happened.

After I published the first few chapters of my first book on Wattpad, most of my readers suddenly disappeared. I was confused. But then I figured, why be impatient? Of course it’s going to take time for my story to get some recognition. 

Several months went by, and my story received little to no recognition from my followers. I was starting to question its quality. It occurred to me that most of my followers only followed me for my fanfiction writing, because I happened to like the same fandoms as them. I felt betrayed, as if they lied to me when they said I was a good writer, because initially I thought that that was why I’d gotten a large following. 

Several more months went by. I was about ten chapters into my story, and still there was little to no feedback. It was a ghost town. Eventually, my spirits were far too low for me to continue with my story. I started to think maybe I just wasn’t as good of a writer as I thought. Maybe I really was just good for fanfiction writing and nothing more. And if that was the case, why bother writing this story? So for quite a long time, I left the story alone. 

It was a depressing time. But what made it worse was I had absolutely no idea what else I wanted to do with myself. Writing was the thing that made sense to me. It just fit into my life. So what else was there? 

I tried to forget about the story and just focus on getting through the rest of high school. I was about to graduate. I wanted to be happy about that. But my mind kept going back to that story. New ideas kept piling up  in my head; they were starting to take shape. So I thought, just for the hell of it, I would jot the ideas into my phone. I told myself, “You never know, right?” 

More and more ideas: plot points, twists, characters, everything, kept forcing themselves into my brain. I realized I didn’t want to stop these ideas from forming themselves, because whenever they did, it excited me. It became very tempting to continue where I left off. I wanted to graduate as a happy person, as someone who stayed true to herself. If I kept ignoring the story that I still feel so passionately for, I knew that I would not be walking across that stage to get my diploma as someone who had stayed true to herself. Graduation is a moment for everyone to feel proud of themselves and their achievements. I wanted to feel proud of myself. So I finally decided, screw everybody who feigned support. I was going to write because I wanted to and I loved to do it. 

Writing is a grueling process. But that wasn’t what made me want to stop. I wanted to stop because I thought I wasn’t good enough. But the thing is, everyone is good enough to do anything they want to do if they work hard enough for it. If I had decided to give up altogether, I wouldn’t have finished writing my story, and I wouldn’t have gotten it edited by an incredible editor who told me that the story was easy to sink into and it was clear that I had put a lot of time and effort into it. 

Looking back on it now, it seems crazy to me that I almost gave up on something that I love to do. I’m so incredibly glad that I decided to stick with it.

Nawal Jasey is the Writing Director at the Her Campus UWindsor Chapter. She is responsible for scheduling writers for article postings as well as writing articles herself. Prior to this, she was part of the writing team as a simple writer. Her content normally depicts entertainment, life experiences, and personal cultural and/or religious topics. Nawal attends the University of Windsor as a senior undergraduate under the English program, where she mainly studies different branches of English literature including Victorian, Renaissance, Restoration, and more. Furthermore, she studies creative writing to pursue her dream of becoming an author. She attends several reading events hosted by different authors to help inspire her creative writing. She has independently published a fiction fantasy novel and continues to write more stories for the future. In her free time, Nawal loves to read and write fiction and epic fantasy novels. She would rather shop for books than for clothes any day. She is an anime and manga lover and considers herself a massive and proud nerd. She enjoys baking and playing the piano (not at all professionally) while cuddling her adorable kitty named Sabo.