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  • Writer's pictureKaitlyn Petry

Do We Ever Really Start from Scratch?

I remember feeling triumphant when I typed “the end” on my first full-length novel—only to realize a total rewrite would be needed.

Though it had taken me four years to reach those two little words, I was again staring at a blank page as though no time had passed. Except, at that time, everything had changed!

It was 2021, and unlike when I started writing, I was now a single mom in the middle of a global pandemic. I wanted to celebrate the completion of my draft like the achievement it was, but instead, I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of starting from scratch.

Every obstacle, failure, and lost opportunity can feel just like that—like falling from the top of the ladder to the very first rung. I was reminded of that feeling at the start of my most recent job search. Those familiar insecurities surfaced as I began something new. A little voice that insists no matter how much progress I make, I’ll always end up in the same place.

The beginning.

But is that what’s really happening?

Coming to Scriptorium has reminded me that no matter how life changes, we never truly start over.

In the case of my novel, the writing I did in draft one was invaluable for determining the essential plot points, character motivations, and world-building elements that would help me create an even stronger second draft.

And in my career? My first job after graduating with my degree in professional writing from MacEwan University was at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) as a Digital Media Script Developer. Working with subject matter experts to enhance their course content with digital learning objects helped me understand how to translate technical subject matter into plain language. That strong foundation in clear and concise technical writing served me well when I started as a copywriter in marketing and advertising.

And now, here I am at Scriptorium! At first, I worried I’d be starting over yet again, but a lifetime of stops and starts has shown me the value that every past venture brings to my present. To me, it’s remarkable that my experiences at NAIT are being drawn on again. I could never have guessed I’d return to technical writing after seven years!

Instead of starting from scratch, I’m starting from experience. A critical change in mindset I’m excited to take into 2023.


Learn more about Kaitlyn and the rest of the team on our About Us page.

Growing our team increases our capacity for our clients. We believe that each of our writers brings an important set of skills that work together to make us a diverse and capable team. This gives us the flexibility to support a variety of projects by assigning the right writer or team to support your project needs. Contact us to book one of our team members to work with you on your writing and instructional projects.

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