Everyone starts from somewhere, right? Well here’s my story about how I became an author.
It all started when I was a child. I had a difficult time expressing myself and believed I either did a poor job at conversing and sharing my emotions with others, or just didn’t have the vocabulary to do so, so I started writing. I remember taking printer paper, legal pads, whatever I could find to write out my thoughts.
I wrote letters of which I loved to mail out. I would even act like something had come in the mail for a family member and when they asked what it was, I would proudly present the letter I had written for them. Oh and cards? Definitely not enough space for me to write out everything I felt. I always had to attach more paper to really make sure the person knew how much I loved them.
I learned how to type on a typewriter and was completely fascinated by the machine. Yet, while I loved it, it didn’t compare to pen and paper for me.
I wrote in a diary, journal, another notebook, another one after that. I filled so many that I couldn’t keep track of the ones I’d started writing in and the ones I never finished writing in.
Then I started writing poetry.
I had never taken a class on poetry. I didn’t know all of the different nuances, but I knew that it helped me speak in a way nothing else could. Poetry was like the moment a person looks through a kaleidoscope, and this one pointed straight at my heart. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more. I even submitted my work and won two poetry contests, one when I was 9 and another when I was 10.
Winning those contests felt amazing. After that, family members would ask me to write random poetry for them, birthday poems, funeral poems, marriage poems, you name it. Then I found romance novels and I knew, inherently, this was what I was meant to do.
I had no business reading those novels at the age I did, but I did nonetheless. I also tried to write them, and realized I couldn’t do it, at least, not the way those authors did. Not with how they described every aspect of skin, sky, daylight, it was all too much for me. I loved the actual scenes, but I wanted to focus on the emotion, that was my connection. I still tried though and it was not good.
So I went back to what I knew. I wrote poetry, I even wrote music and posted some of it online. But I never perused it and sadly accepted maybe I wasn’t meant to be an author. Maybe writing was my passion hobby, but it wasn’t something anyone would ever want to read.
Throughout the years I would write little stories here or there. I got inspiration from everything under the sun, but I was shy about my work. Even though I had now found stories which reflected the way I thought I’d write if I was an author, I still didn’t believe I could be as good as them.
In 2015 I started playing The Sims 4. Historically, playing The Sims would give me a lot of inspiration. I would come up with these wild, incredible stories, and as I continued to play it, I got to a point where I couldn’t keep my stories locked away anymore. I went searching online and found out there was a huge Sims community on Tumblr. I thought maybe I’d find my people, and I did. Tumblr gave me something nothing else did. It gave me a platform where strangers, both on and off the site, could view my work. Logging in and seeing the statistics, likes, comments, people becoming invested in my characters when I thought my work was just ‘okay,’ boosted my confidence.
I wrote incessantly on Tumblr. I remember at one time I had so many posts drafted that I had hit their limit for multiple days. I loved it. I was in love with writing and this experience. But the constant writing did something else for me, it helped me to understand my voice, the way I crafted my art.
My writing grew, and got better. I started branching out, challenging and pushing myself to grow. That included learning how to write spice. I felt safe in what I’d created. On this site, I was an author, and the fulfillment and joy I got from that was overwhelming. But nothing can stay the same forever.
Tumblr changed. With it a lot of people left. That audience I had spent years with disappeared and I didn’t blame them. I left too, and I was exhausted. I wrote little things, a scene or word here or there, but nothing like I used to. I was terrified that when I finally did commit to writing again, it wouldn’t be the same. I’d developed something I didn’t even know I had at the time, Imposter Syndrome.
In December of 2018, I realized I couldn’t keep doing this. I wanted to write. That inspiration was building up again, and who cared if it wasn’t my best writing or “good enough”? It was still mine. So I wrote the first four chapters of Night Shade. I was so incredibly proud!
In Spring of 2019, I got an idea for a short story humanizing trees. It wouldn’t leave me alone and I realized that I could publish whatever I wanted to. The world was my oyster and I was the only one holding myself back. So, in the summer of 2019 I published my first book, Broken Branches. Going through the publishing process and seeing my book available for people to read was all I needed. That was success to me and because I took that first step, I was able to step through other doors.
In 2020 I signed a contract with a small press to be included in a fairytale retelling anthology, and by December of that year, I had another book under my name.
The publishing bug bit me then, and in January of 2021 I knew I wanted to do this. I wanted to be an author more than anything, so I was going to fight for this. No matter what or who I had to fight, even if it was myself, I’d do it.
So where am I now? My debut series, Chronicles of The Otherworld is alive and kicking. I have plans for book three and the multiple parts of this series spanning different paranormal creatures, several other series, individual novels, and multiple universes.
Now for some fun things. I still like writing letters (I’m sure you could guess by how long this post is)! I would own a typewriter, but I would never use it for anything. My keyboard is mechanical though (those little clicky-clacky keys) so I guess you could kind of say I use something pretty close to it. I still write poetry sometimes and every so often a small little song for my husband. I don’t really struggle with conversations or sharing my emotions anymore (I actually feel like that’s one of my strengths in my books). I recognize Imposter Syndrome and have a good fight against it. I simply removed the words “I can’t” from my dictionary, because I know whenever I put my mind to something, I most certainly “can”. And most of all, I’m happy. I’m overjoyed. I’m satisfied every time I start a new chapter or finish another part of my work.
If you’ve gotten this far, I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope it helped you to remember you don’t have to give up on your dreams. No matter how long it takes, effort produces results, regardless of the outcomes or however many times you tried. The fact that you tried is what matters. So in whatever it is you’d like to do in your life, I hope you try. You’ve got this!