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How I Found My Way To Writing | Isabel Marcelo

by Isabel Marcelo

I never thought of myself as a writer. I never wanted to be a writer. I’ve wanted to be many things growing up but a writer was never one of them. 

I’ve always used writing as a form of expression. I never thought too much about it. It was just something I did. It was natural for me to grab a pen and paper and write whatever came to me or whatever emotions were inside of me. 

Creative writing was a strength of mine in school. I’d always get praise and good grades from it. But I never paid attention to that. I never saw writing as an option for me. 

To me, a writer was someone who was super smart and studied literature and read a book a day and spoke like a human thesaurus. So calling myself a writer was completely out of the question. Yet, I’d continue to write.

The first piece of writing I have is a journal entry written on a small piece of paper. I have no memory of writing it but when I found it–what I wrote didn’t surprise me. 

I was 7 years-old and was confused because my Dad kept changing his mind about our family going camping. Confusion was a consistent emotion for me as a child. And though I don’t remember writing that entry, I do remember being confused about why my Dad kept changing his mind. (And just in case you were wondering, we never did end up going camping.)


One of the first pieces of writing that I took seriously was a song. I had a phase during my pre-teen years where I wanted to be a singer. I grew up with a Dad who was a singer so it was pretty natural for me to love music.

But also, I was really into that Nickelodeon show, Unfabulous–you know, the one with Emma Roberts where she writes a song about literally everything, from that boy she has a crush on to a new pair of shoes? Dope show. Highly recommend it.

I was 11 years-old and it was my last year of primary school. Next year I’d be going to high school–a school that none of my friends were going to–and I had a mix of emotions about it. I was scared of leaving my friends but I was excited for a new chapter to begin. So I wrote a song about it. I still remember the chorus:
I do but I don’t wanna go that way
On a different day
‘Cause it’s gonna be a scary ride
For the first time in my life

I know… How did I not turn out like Adele???

For my 14th birthday I got gifted a notebook from my two friends, Beth and Larissa. It was in a The Notebook care package. Along with it came The Notebook novel by Nicholas Sparks and the film on DVD. I guess I really liked The Notebook?

My birthday is in November and summer would be starting soon, so I made the decision to document my summer in this journal. After that summer, I never stopped journaling. I continued buying more notebooks to document my life. It was the start of me writing consistently. It’s probably the only thing I’ve kept consistent in my life.

I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years: hospitality, retail, event management, photography, videography, social media, acting, philosophy… Some of these I still do in a way today, and some I’ve abandoned.

Through everything, writing was the one thing I stuck with. I probably only stuck with it because I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t put any pressure on myself when it came to writing. It was all for fun and for self-expression. It wasn’t something I felt the need to share, it was purely for me.

Eventually, when I did start sharing my writing, something magic started to happen–I started connecting with people. Some of them I’d never even met before.

I’d share my words and strangers would tell me how much they could relate or how much I helped them. It encouraged me to continue sharing my writing. Slowly, I started taking my writing more seriously and delving into other forms outside of journaling.

I experimented with blogging, journalism, copywriting, poetry, prose… Trying different forms of writing helped me to understand what I liked and didn’t like about writing. It also helped me to understand myself even more.

Writing was the one thing that helped me feel less alone. I’d always felt a sense of loneliness. Not in a way where I felt like I had no friends, more in a philosophical way.

Connecting with people through my writing made me feel less lonely. Like what I was feeling had been felt by others. It brought that sense of togetherness.

There was never an epiphany when it came to my love for writing. But once I started sharing my words, I felt the need to keep going.

The thought that I could affect even just one person with my writing gave me more purpose and fulfilment than anything else ever had. I craved that feeling, I craved that human connection, and as a result - I craved writing and sharing my words.

We all have issues. We all have troubles we have to deal with. I know for me, in this crazy brain of mine, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming. But when I write, life seems to get a little clearer, and it brings me back to myself. And when I share my words, it brings me back to life.

I never wanted to be a writer but I’m glad I found my way to it.

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Go over to Isabel's instagram and blog to find out more about this lovely soul and her daily adventures in London.

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