I often find myself looking back over the years and exploring my growth as a writer. As I look back over the years, I find myself fixating on my very first published book and the journey that lead me there. I think about the hours of nit-picking and adjusting. I think about baring my soul too reviewers and publishers. I think about the heartache and frustration of dealing with editors. I think about the unmitigated bliss that came with finally holding my book in my hands and proudly proclaiming myself to be a published author.
…but then I look back further.
My pathway to my published works began far before the editors, the publishers, and the reviews. I look back to when I first began aggressively writing about anything, everything, and anyone I could think of. I was in high school, and along with my friends, had established a small underground print publication known as DCR (Dumb Circus Rejects). The fire that I felt for the work we did was white-hot, and alongside some of my closest friends, we were able to unlock knew venues of pure expression in a way that many adults still fail to find. My drive to learn, explore, and write truly came alive during those times.
…but, that also wasn’t where it all started.
When I really look back, my pathway to writing started in elementary school. The very first piece I ever wrote was a story about my father’s tooth. In this tale, I explored the way he lost his tooth after eating too much candy. I found myself thrilled with the challenge of describing his tooth, his experience, and creating fantastic descriptions of the entire debacle. As a young child, I saw the magical puzzle that storytelling can be, and I was drawn into the game from that moment out.
As I work on my next novel, I find it important to reflect back on my humble beginnings – because from snarky high school underground newsletters, to sugary sweet tales of dental disasters, to well-reviewed and critically acclaimed published works – my passion for writing has been with me for my entire life and I celebrate every stage of the journey.