Writing like a Boss

From the desk of Samantha R. Uhrig

About the Author

Photo credit: Miley Baskin

When I was nine, I was gifted a tiny yellow journal. When I say tiny, I’m not being hyperbolic; this journal was maybe two inches wide, one inch tall. It was a baptism gift, wrapped in silver glitter that littered my skinny fingers. Still damp from the warm baptismal water, I sat criss-cross-applesauce on my mom’s rug and opened this tiny yellow journal, unaware that it would become the vessel by which I claimed my identity.

Now 22, I don’t have that journal in my possession anymore, but I can still feel its plasticky cover under my adolescent, chipped-nail-polished fingernails. I do, however, have in my care every story I wrote subsequently. Those stories range in the hundreds.

As soon as the dull tip of my pencil touched the surface of the paper, I knew what I was experiencing was special. Too young to have the proper words to describe the feeling, I still knew in my core that this is what God wanted me to do.

I became a writer that day.

Photo credit: Miley Baskin

From ages 10-18, I wrote nonstop. In elementary school, it was fanfiction of my favorite books; in middle school, it was fantastical short stories; in high school, it was historical novels. I started my blog at 13. Over the course of six years, I completed my darling novel, The Girl Who Frosts the Cakes. As I matured, so did my work.

In 2020, I started college as a creative writing major. Everything was great: I was finishing my novel, I was meeting likeminded writers, I had finished and published two short stories.

Then things began to take a turn for the worst in my creative life.

The aftereffects of the pandemic had brought to light some underlying mental issues. In 2021, I was diagnosed with ADHD, and then depression. In 2023, I was diagnosed with severe social anxiety.

As you can imagine, these diagnoses changed my life. They are not me – they are merely a part of me – but they affected my beloved writing habits in a way that crushed me. I couldn’t write every day; I couldn’t even write every month, or once per quarter.

Writing fell to the back burner, and I stared at it wistfully while I simmered on the front burner. I missed it every single day. But whenever I tried putting words to page, I became mentally exhausted after 50 words.

In 2024, I’m incredibly happy to report that writing no longer gives me the same level of emotional whiplash that it once did. Like treading carefully with a broken ankle shortly after it’s healed, I’m continuing to make baby steps. But I’m healing; I’m growing.

After that experience, my mission for my platform has changed. I want to share my experience so that other writers feel less alone. I want to encourage creatives who are struggling to be creative. I want to connect with authors for whom putting pen to paper feels like an ever-growing weight on their shoulders.

I want those writers to know that there is hope. Writing is hard, but we are capable of hard things.