Writing has always been an adventure. Writing has taught me to understand myself and to make sense of the world. As an only girl with brothers who weren’t crazy about playing with her, I spent a lot of time creating my own world, friends, and stories.
When I started struggling with depression in eighth and ninth grade, poetry helped me say words I couldn't voice. And when it became clear I also suffered from an anxiety disorder, writing allowed me to explore my feelings and understand that my situation didn’t make me “weird” or “wrong.”
Anytime I’ve needed to or wanted to explore, I have been able to do so through writing.
My writing journey has been rather typical. At a young age, I felt a “pull” towards writing. I communicated better when I wrote rather than spoke, and it was through writing I gained confidence. I didn’t care or even think about what did and didn't make “good” writing at the time.
By high school, though, I became more conscious of the “rules,” specifically writing mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation...the boring stuff :), and in college, I started to study elements that made “good” stories and poems.
And because I’m a rebel, as I learned these rules, I was writing and learning how to break each rule. Really, what’s the fun in even having rules if you can’t break them, right?
All the while I learned wrote, I never thought writing would be more than a hobby. Then, in August 2010, a couple months after I graduated with my B.A., a friend reached out to me about a book a man named Jim Pike wanted to be written. Jim was currently working with another writer, and this writer had just sent him a rough draft of the book manuscript.
My friend asked me to look over the manuscript and give some initial feedback. I did...and less than two weeks later, I was sitting in Jim Pike’s living room and he was asking me to write his story.
That was the greatest turning point in my writing life because that was the moment I knew I could write “for real.” Not just as a hobby, but real writing. Real writing that would lead to real books. I spent two years working on Jim’s memoir, and after it was published, I was hooked on writing for good. There was no turning back.
If you look at my book catalog, you won’t see any non-fiction and you definitely won’t see any memoirs. I didn’t really think twice about jumping from Jim’s project to writing fantasy fiction because fantasy fiction was what I had been writing most of my life. I joined NaNoWriMo and completed my first novel in two months. For a first attempt at a novel, it was rough (okay, it was terrible) and it isn’t published, but it served its purpose.
Since then, I’ve written almost a dozen books and I have ideas for a dozen more. I hope to always write because writing feels *right. It’s my calling. When I write, I know I’m doing what I was meant to do.
So where does that leave 2017? On another type of adventure. The more I write, the more I learn about writing, and that makes me want to go through all my published works and “tweak” them. I’m looking to add some new scenes, take away others, and hopefully work with some different editors and cover designers this year. I won’t get to every book this year but expect to see new editions of most of my current published works by the end of 2017.
And of course, while I’m doing this, I will be publishing at least one new book this year: Emma’s Con (THE HIDDEN book 4).
When you think about your goals, do you like to set yearly ones? Or do you work better at setting short-term goals?