WRITING | WRITER’S LIFE | NEW WRITER

My First Time Publishing

Mika Oka

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A friend recently confided in me that he had finally published his first story. Although he spoke in a hushed tone, the sheer excitement in his voice resonated deeply within me, as I could empathize with the emotions he must have been experiencing. We’ve all experienced that moment when we gather the courage to step out as writers and share our work with the world. The days when we started writing were different from the present. Nowadays, anyone can publish their writing anywhere, anyhow, and I believe that’s a positive shift that encourages those closeted writers to embrace their passion.

Join me in reflecting on and sharing our experiences with our first published works. Let’s revisit its significance and how it shaped our writing journeys. Share your thoughts, emotions, and insights gained from that initial step into publishing. This is a supportive opportunity, not a competition. Let’s honor the courage it took to share our words and celebrate the growth that followed. Keep writing, sharing, and inspiring! Post your story with the prompt #MyFirstPublishedWork, and let our writing community thrive with the tales of our early triumphs.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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#closeted writer

I use the term “closeted” because it truly takes an immense amount of courage to come forward with our writing. We often doubt ourselves, questioning whether our work is good enough to be seen by others. I vividly recall the first time I pressed that publish button. My heart raced, and nervousness coursed through my veins. However, in the end, I took a leap of faith and simply did it. That moment marked the beginning of my writing journey.

My first published piece was a poem titled “Wild Flower” that I shared on Instagram. It wasn’t perfect, I admit, but if I hadn’t taken that first step, I might never have become a writer at all. I would have remained a closeted writer, with countless drafts, unpublished and forgotten papers eaten away by time and moths.

#my first published work

Photo by author

Things are never meant to be,
I can tell by looking at you and me,
Our wildest dreams are never ours to decide,
We are the wild flower,
The wild flower belongs to nobody but itself,
Blooming freely in the meadow.

Published 15th September 2017

#my first writing challenge

The universe conspired their union
In this fleeting moment of joy
Birds singing happily in celebration
Two lost souls found each other
Bodies engulfed by passionate rhythm
Awaken to the boundless love
The sweet nectar of life

Published 20th September 2017

#my memories on Instagram

Screenshot by author
Screenshot by author

#our first book

Shortly after, my health took a downturn, and I suffered from terrible writer’s block. Just before my illness became all-consuming, I mustered the strength to submit a piece titled “Illusion of Love” to Penguin Poetry NYC. It was a forgotten chapter in my life as I battled my health issues. Then I received this email informing me that “Illusion of Love” would be published as part of an anthology lifted my spirits, even though it would be several more years before I could write again.

Illusion of Love

My mind’s figmental
Dreaming you into my life
Perverse imagination

Conjured through my dreams
Falling for a fictitious you
Unendurable

Consumed with desire
Running around in circle

Reasoning it out

I thought it was love
But you are just another
Idea in my head

Trying to seek help
Sanity slipping away
Quashing you from my mind

Daily injections
Alternate shock therapies
Doesn’t seem to work

Haloperidol
Keeping me in custody
You’re still in my dream
Trying hard to claw
Your reverie in my skin
Slashing ’til it bleeds

A padded white room
Restrained by the straightjacket

Thinking about you

Illusion of love
I really thought it is love
I thought it was love

Penguin Poetry NYC Penguin Poetry NYC is an Instagram page that shares poetry from writers all over the world.

Published on September 13th 2018 by Penguin Poetry NYC
ISBN13: 9780692186220

#writer’s journey

Being a writer is an ongoing journey of learning and growth. It’s not something we can simply graduate from and consider ourselves done. Instead, it’s a continuous process of honing our skills and expanding our horizons. We read, we learn, we write, and then we repeat the cycle. Each piece we create teaches us something new, broadens our perspectives, and shapes our craft. It is through this repetition and dedication that we evolve as writers.

There is something inherently beautiful about the writer’s journey. It extends far beyond the final result or the recognition we may receive. It’s about the process, the exploration, and the joy of writing something from the depths of our imagination. Writing is a perpetual quest for improvement, an unending pursuit of excellence. Don’t be disheartened by the pursuit of perfection or by comparing yourself to others. Remember that writing is a personal and unique form of expression, and every word matters. Keep writing, keep learning, and keep growing. And, above all, never forget the sheer joy that accompanies the pursuit of your love for writing.

Here’s to the lifelong journey of being a writer, where each word written, and every lesson learned adds another layer of depth to our craft.

#writing prompt

Dear fellow writers

Join me in reflecting on and sharing our experiences with our first published works. Let’s revisit its significance and how it shaped our writing journeys. Share your thoughts, emotions, and insights gained from that initial step into publishing. Let’s honor the courage it took to share our words and celebrate the growth that followed. Keep writing, sharing, and inspiring! Post your story with the prompt #MyFirstPublishedWork, and let our writing community thrive with the tales of our early triumphs. Feel free to participate, and let me know if you prefer not to be tagged.

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Disclosure: I would like to apologize in advance if it seems like there are a lot of personal and affiliate links in my content. However, at the moment, this is what I am doing to support myself, as I am not able to work in a traditional work space due to my mental health condition. I hope you can understand that I am just trying to make a living doing what I love. It is important for me to be transparent about this, as I want to be honest with my audience and readers. If you choose to purchase through my links at no extra cost to you, it not only helps me continue doing what I love but also helps to support my livelihood. Or you may also buy me a virtual coffee to keep me going!

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Mika Oka

Sharing her unique perspective on the world as a hearing-impaired autistic person with bipolar disorder despite the challenges. emikaoka.wordpress.com/home/