Sunday, April 22, 2018

Isabella Wang : my (small press) writing day

This is what a writing day looks for me, on a typical school day.

3:30 am: wake up. Shower, get dressed, brush my teeth. I wake up so early because I write best in the morning. This time is very important to me.

4:00 am: I get out a pen and any paper I can find, lying around at my desk, and start writing. I can be working on any assortment of writing projects, from academic papers for my Ap English Literature and Composition class at school, to any assignments for my fiction, non-fiction, and poetry creative writing classes, to any ongoing projects that I have for upcoming magazine deadlines and contests. Prioritizing is important, but I also like to go with the flow. If there isn’t anything urgent, I just work on whatever my mind feels like on that morning. Today, I’ll be writing a draft for a new poem. It will be messy. Really messy. But that is okay.

6:00 am : I go downstairs and make coffee with my coffee press. I like light roast. I take that back up to my room, and drink it while I work on revising an older piece that I’ve been working on for quite some time.

7:00 am: I pack my bag and walk over to school, while listening to a playlist of my favourite music along the way.

7:30 am: Having arrived at school, I’ll work on any homework I have for that day before my first class starts. Today, I am studying for my French vocabulary quiz.

8:40 am: Today is a day 1. That means my first class is French. We do our quiz. I realize that I forgot to study for a section. My next class is Ap English Lit, so I have trouble focusing in this class because I’m always looking forward to the class after. I glance at the clock, and again, and again. When is class over?

10:00 am: French finishes. I walk down the corridor for my next class, Ap Lit. This is the only class I can actually focus in. We are reading from Milton’s Paradise Lost today. We had trouble understanding a lot, so my English teacher explained to us. “God’s angels drive him everywhere in an Uber. That’s why he’s everywhere all at once,” he says.

11:30 am: Class ends. We have 45 minutes for lunch. I go to the library everyday and sleep on the couch there. What can I say? 5 hours of sleep is not enough.

12:20 pm: I head over to physics class. I really like my teacher. He is very passionate and supportive of my writing, but like Sylvia Plath once said in The Bell Jar, “Physics made me sick the whole time I learned it.” He assigns a problem. I doodle koalas in my notebook to make it look as if I know what I’m doing. My notebook is filled with koalas.

1:40 pm: I head over to my last class of the day. By now, I’m just exhausted.

3:03 pm : School ends. I head over to volunteering.

3:45 pm: I arrive at volunteering. It is a wellness centre for cancer patients, and I love it there. I help take down for an event and I make cookies for another event. The food there is really good. I take the left overs for dinner.

5:30 pm: I walk over to Downtown, to the public library to attend a literary event called Incite. It is hosted by Vancouver’s Writer’s Festival.

7:00 pm: The doors for Incite open.

7:30 pm: The event for Incite starts. We have a line up of readers who read their works, and there is a panel at the end where they answer questions from the public.

9:00 pm: I walk and bus home, while thinking about any ongoing projects or coming up with new ideas. I think thinking is a really pivotal writing process.

9:45 pm: I arrive home. I make some hot chocolate and drink that with a bowl of cereal. I work on my Ap Calculus homework until bedtime, while questioning what drove mathematicians so bored that they had to create integrals. I’m also questioning my life decisions here, wondering where I had gone wrong, and what had made me deserve this.

11:30 pm : I check social media quickly, reply to emails, before going to bed. Relief and numbness overwhelms me before I fall asleep. Then, its off to another day.

Isabella Wang is is an emerging poet and non-fiction writer from Vancouver, BC.  She is in her last year of high school, and is ecstatic that high school is almost over. She has completed multiple creative writing courses for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with Simon Fraser University’s continuing studies program, paid for by her lunch money. At 17, she is the youngest writer to be shortlisted for The New Quarterly Magazine’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry will be published in V5 of LooseLeaf Magazine (May 2018). She will be doing her undergrad for English Literature in the fall of 2018.


  1. Pretty much my high school. Great piece Isabella !

  2. Beautiful piece Isabella! I am so proud of you for your authorship, your upcoming graduation, and your college career in English Lit! Congratulations!