“My Writing Journey,” Qianyu Wang (2013) — Inquiry 1

Writer’s Reflection

“My Writing Journey” is one of my best and clearest experiences which compares with my reading and speaking experience. The narrative basically talked about how my grandpa influenced my writing interests and how I improved my writing in English since I came to Miami University. The story narrated that I read my own diaries when the six years have passed by and I was impressed with my own writing. I changed my mind of writing and began to like it because of these dairies. It was not difficult to describe my childhood memory. When I finished my part of describing the diaries and how diaries brought me to the start of my writing journey, I began to write my experience of learning to write in English at Miami University. This needed a good transition but I did not write a smooth way to connect those two parts. Therefore, I revised this part and added some details in order to make my transition smoother. Then, I looked at some parts which were a bit confusing, so I added some explanations after the sentences. After I revised and edited my paper, I thought it could be better to read and my whole essay was smoother than my previous drafts.


It is hard to recall my early memories of writing. To be honest, I was not interested in writing very much when I was a child; I cannot say I do not like writing any more. Writing in my life is a special and common way to express my ideas and feelings now. When I was in primary school in China, I used to write compositions in Chinese. At that time, I did not like writing just because I thought it was boring. Any time I wrote my compositions, most of them were for mandatory schoolwork, and I never wanted to write a non-class assignment. However, I changed my mind about writing because of my grandpa. He helped me build my interests of writing by having me write diaries. He also influenced my interests in writing Chinese compositions. When I came to America, I also developed my writing English skills.

The diary brought me into the start of my writing journey. When I was six years old, my whole family went to Qingdao, which is a near-sea city in China, for one month. We stayed in this city for so long because my grandpa had some businesses there. My grandpa was a great politician and a successful writer. He loved writing through his life and this was one of his biggest interests. During vacation, when my grandpa came home, he gave my cousins and I tiny yellow notebooks and asked us to write diaries. He asked us to write simply what we were doing every day. I was only six years old, of course I did not know how to write a diary, and sometimes I did even not know enough about how to write correct Chinese characters; but my grandpa still required us to do this work. For me it was like homework, I did not want to do it but I still had to do it. I got bored among those meaningless diaries because I only described where we were going, I could not write a diary which contained a lot of meaningful thoughts. When we finished our vacation, grandpa collected the notebooks from us, and then I forgot this thing for a very long time.

I had totally forgot my diary and never thought I would read it again. When my grandparents moved to a new house, my grandpa found that little book and gave it to me. At that time I was already twelve years old. I opened the notebook, and I saw I wrote “ugly” Chinese (Chinese people needed to practice how to write beautiful Chinese pen calligraphy in order to have better handwriting. Personal calligraphy style would change as ages passed by. For a six-year old child, I only could write “ugly” Chinese). There were some incorrect words, and everything I wrote down seemed a bit meaningless. For example, I wrote, “Today I went to XX store with my mom, my aunt, and my grandma. We bought a big cake and I got new toys. I was so happy.” Almost every diary only described where I was going; I did not write my feelings at all. When I read those words, I felt these were not diaries; they were more like “descriptions”. I laughed out loud and thought that I was so funny. I kept reading and turned pages and pages. One of those diaries caught my eye. I wrote, “Today I went to beach with mom, aunt, grandma, and my cousins. We had so much fun. We collected sea shells on the ground, and we surfed in the sea. When I stood near the beach, the sea waves could push me forward, how fascinating! When sky got dark, we went to a restaurant. After the dinner, we bought some snacks and sat near to the sea. It was so comfortable when the cool sea wind passed my face and I did not want to go back to home…” There were some incorrect words but I was still impressed with myself. I was only six years old at that time, but I described the feelings vividly. Therefore, it made me feel like I was a part of the scene.

After I read the whole little notebook, I thought that diaries were truly good evidence for recording memories; so did writing. As a result, this little diary changed my attitude of writing. I began to write diaries every day. Once I finished school, I put my backpack away and opened my secret diary book to write down the things that happened that day. I also began to like writing because it allowed me to surf in my own writing ocean which was full of imagination and my own secrets. I started to write out-of-class hint fiction and my own stories; when I finished them, I would bring them to my grandpa and wanted him to give me some suggestions. My grandpa always praised me that I was a good writer; he encouraged me to write more about whatever I wanted. So I kept writing and improving my writing skills. At one time, my teacher loved my composition, so she mailed it to the newspaper office and hoped they could publish it in the local student newspaper. I never thought this could come true. After one month, my mother told me that my composition was published in the newspaper and she brought that newspaper to me. I saw it and I was so happy. My grandpa said he was very proud of me.

After I came to America, I still kept the habits of writing diaries, only now, I also write them in English. When I was an exchange student, I wrote three big notebooks of diaries, however, it was still in Chinese because I was used to it and brought them back to my family. When they had free time, they would like to read my diaries because they thought by reading my writing they would know what my feelings were. After I came to Miami University, I wrote down everything which impressed me about campus. But I realized that writing my own diaries were different from writing my essays; the later one should be professional and needed more critical thinking. In my English class, I began to learn a formal way to write English essays; I faced many obstacles during my practicing. For example, I did not have a clear thesis of my assignments; the organization was not well-ordered. In order to improve my writing skills, I went to the writing center frequently so that I would learn more about writing. Sometimes I thought that writing in English was so tricky, I needed to think critically at every writing step and I felt frustrated. Even though I was not a good writer, I never gave up practicing and I still enjoy writing. I hope that I could be better and better every day.

Now writing is a big part of my life. From class assignments, I learned how to organize my essays well; in my free time, I like to write diaries which include my feelings, my concerns, my experiences, etc. I love writing and do not think it is boring at all. Writing taught me how to think critically and it is permanent and strong evidence for my improvements of writing. I also cannot forget how my grandpa influenced my writing. When I look at my diaries and compositions now, they are truly precious things in my life. They reflect how I developed my writing and they remind me of my treasures and memories.