So I think it is pretty obvious that I love to write. If you didn’t get that, just wow. But I want to write for a living. I have been working very hard on my novel (when I have time), and I can’t wait until I get it published. And I will. Like, I haven’t worked this hard to just let it be.
But I feel like I have never shed any light on what has gotten me to this point. Well, today you are in for a treat. Let’s start from the beginning:
I started writing songs when I was six years old. Granted, they were not great, but it was a start. I also started to read at a very young age. My love of books and writing started there. I didn’t think much of it at that point because I kind of thought that every kid was like that.
But I thought music was my calling. Writing songs and singing them was what filled my days, my hours, my minutes. It was such a wonderful release. I dreamed of performing and being famous; no other profession would suit me.
Of course, on the side, I liked writing short picture books about talking animals and princesses. I could do that on the back burner of my music and acting. No biggie.
When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I decided to write a book. As if it was just that easy. I had fun characters and whatnot, but I didn’t quite have a plot that could run the full arc of a novel. I got thirty pages in–a huge accomplishment–and stopped. I didn’t give up, I would say, but I lost the spark. Songs were shorter and easier for me. I could pop out one almost daily, if I wanted.
This happened a few times throughout middle school. I managed to write over one hundred songs during my seventh and eighth grade years, plus poems. Crazy, right? Not all of them are really great, but they resonate with me and keep me grounded. I have kept all of them, and draw inspiration from them often.
October of eighth grade was the mark of change in me. Music was still my dream, but writing took a new toll on me. I wrote a short story as an assignment for Halloween. It ended with a “To be continued…” cliffhanger, and inspired me to write three more parts to the story. I typed it up, revising along the way. I was totally in love with the feeling. I gave it to a ton of people to read.
My dad, who was particularly proud of this accomplishment and continues to be my biggest supporter, told me to send it to his oldest brother, my Uncle Steve. Steve co-founded the California State University, Channel Islands, so who better to send it to? I emailed it right away.
I saw hime not too long after that. He returned a printed copy to me with tons of comments. Some were good, some were critical–as critical as he could be with his niece. Immediately, I took it in a negative way. I thought I was not a good writer, and he was trying to let me down easy. I had no talent. I was kind of upset with him for it. I mean, he was family, so he was supposed to tell me how great I was, right? Why wasn’t he doing that?
I kept those scribbled on pages for a long time. Freshman year of high school, I looked at them again, but in a new way. I reread the story and his comments, and they made a lot or sense. Why was I so upset before? I put songwriting on the back-burner (where it would stay for a long time) and focused on writing. A full-blown re-write was in order!
My spring semester and summer was full of volunteering at a summer camp, reading, and figuring out this story. I fixed things, taking his comments with me, and added and revised things altogether. I had never thought I would love revising, but this was such a rush. I couldn’t wait to show Uncle Steve the finished product.
September of my sophomore year, Steve passed away. He never got to read the final draft. His death has hit me harder than any other, as he was the first person so close to me to die. The only other was my great-grandmother, and while I loved her dearly, I wasn’t as close to her as I was to Steve. Three and a half years later, it still hurts. I still cry a lot because of it. Actually, I am tearing up a little bit now in the library writing about it.
I finished the story in his memory and in his honor. I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments. That Halloween story sparked something in me that I had never experienced. Music wasn’t my calling, I discovered. Writing was.
That April, I began my novel, which I finally finished this past March. I am in the early stages on a second, as well. I have never felt more comfortable with writing. It is more than just a hobby to me, it is a way of life. Stories, songs, poems, journals…it is so utterly me. I can’t really explain how much I love it. Have you ever felt that way about something?
Cal Poly is not exactly the school for English majors. I mean. It is California Polytechnic State University, after all. Our English department is dying. Out of over 4,000 freshman, only about 80 are in my major. But Poly has a great program. My professor this quarter (Shout out to Dr. Navarro) is awesome, and I am learning so much. I have no regrets in choosing Cal Poly as my place of study. Plus, I am getting editing practice and experience, thanks to my engineering friends who aren’t confident in their writing skills. I’m useful here, right? Right.
Just the other night, when I was having a panic attack (literally. I will elaborate another time, maybe), Vanessa told me what a great writer I am. Even though she is like my best friend and roommate and she basically has to say that, it really felt good to hear. I love hearing people talk about PLR and texting me about it. It is really exciting for me.
I am so blessed to have found my calling in life, and I can only hope that every person is as lucky as I am. So thank you for the support on the blog, and in life. Y’all are my favorites ❤
The girl who loves you all so much, A
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