In first grade, my school hosted a book fair. I wrote my first book when I was about six years old. It was called “The Easter Troll”, a charming tale about a treasure troll who wanted to be like the Easter bunny. My mom hailed it as a masterpiece. My teacher gave me top marks. Best of all, I won an award at the book fair! (Honorable Mention, I believe?) I knew then that I wanted to be a writer.
I wrote stories about my Cabbage Patch dolls and their adventures to the moon. I wrote stories about kids who travel back in time. I wrote a story about an alien girl from Neptune who had to pretend to be human, and her notes on our species. I wrote daily.
My mother was the first to give me a journal, when I was in fourth grade. I’ve kept a journal ever since. At age eleven, she enrolled me in the Writer’s’ Digest book club. I read two-three books a month with titles like “Creating Characters Kids Will Love”, “Writing in Flow”, and “20 Major Plots”. I knew from a slew of inspiring movies that reading would also help me, so I devoured books.
I was first published in the school paper, at my junior high. There was no school paper when I started at Granada, but there was when I left. I also wrote on yearbook staff. I wrote letters to pen pals, and wrote notes to my friends in classes. I started a newsletter for my church. I wrote sermons, which I delivered at the christian club I attended in school. When I was sixteen, I was featured in a small magazine.
In college, I got my degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. I tried my hand at poetry, essays, screenplays, and prose. A handful of my book reviews and comic strips were published in the college newspaper.
Ani DiFranco sings that art is why she gets up in the morning, and I relate. Writing lets me breathe. It’s been all I have pumping through my lungs at times. It’s been my goal, the light at the end of my tunnel, for years now. And as much as I didn’t want to sit down at 4:01am, headachey from day drinking with my friends, I am writing.
To be a writer, one must write. And I do. Therefore, I am a writer. Unpublished, widely unknown, featured most often in her private journal, but nonetheless, a writer.
It’s pretty much the best.