I was thirteen years old when I first decided I wanted to be a writer.
A girl I knew then—who is now one of my best friends—introduced me to the world of fanfiction, and I have no shame in admitting that some of the first things I wrote were indeed fanfiction. Harry Potter fanfiction to be specific. And if you know me at all, you’ll find that utterly unsurprising.
However, since that moment I decided I wanted to be a writer, something changed: I was told I had to become an adult. I had to do adult things like get good grades and go to college. Other adults—and peers who were aspiring adults—told me that I had to think about the future, pick a major that would guarantee me a job after graduation, make a lot of money to support the family that I would no doubt have one day. And making up stories in my head didn’t really factor into this adultness.
But the one thing that was constant during the entire time I was trying to be an adult was that I was unhappy. There were many contributing factors to this unhappiness, but for the sake of this post, let’s say a lot of it had to do with the fact that none of those adult things I was supposed to be doing and wanting made me feel good. I wasn’t excited about anything except fictional worlds, and I let the people around me convince me to be scared of pursing anything that had to do with said fictional worlds.
It took me ten years, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that being an adult is not for me—not if it means I don’t get to hang out in imaginary lands and make up stories. Though I spent the last ten years considering lots of other possibilities, writing has always been a part of my life. Since my first (unfinished) attempt at fanfiction, I’ve gone on to write a lot of things. Hundreds of thousands of words worth of things. Some were fiction. Some were non-fiction. Some were poetry. But there hasn’t been a month that has gone by in the last ten years where I haven’t written at least one thing that wasn’t for a grade—something that was just for me.
So this is me finally telling those around me the truth: I’m a writer. I kind of always have been, and I probably always will be.
To put that in more concrete terms, I’ve spent the last six months working on a novel (well two novels if we’re being really concrete). I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to publish those novels, along with some of the others that have been sitting in my head for the better part of a decade.
I’ll be honest. I have no idea where this is going to take me, or how my journey to publication is going to turn out. I do, however, know that the last six months have been the absolute best of my life so far. I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself. I’ve met some incredible people (oh hey Maddy & Janella) who have entirely changed my life in ways I never imagined. And the craziest thing of all: I’ve been happy. Like really, truly happy. Like smile when no one is around happy, because for the first time I feel like I am actually doing what I love.