First off, let me say that writing a book is so, so
much harder than I ever imagined.
When I was younger and first started reading (think elementary school), I fell in love with reading and hadn't quite imagined myself ever actually writing a book. I thought writing a book was only possible for the few and amazing. All those famous, big-name NYT bestselling authors that you find yourself reading and loving their books.
Then came middle school
. Yup those awkward, annoying, weird days that you look back on today and say "why did I wear that.." and shake your head. Well, in fifth grade, we had a mini-class built into our main class that brought in an amazing Language Arts teacher to teach us how to write a basic fantasy story. Thinking about it, the length would have probably fit into Flash Fiction because it was roughly handwritten (in multiple different handwritings) and only a few pages long. We got together in groups, learned about plot and characterization, the basics you know? My groups story was a mess, we got a low grade, we were told it wasn't a good story but we had so much fun and it showed me that it is possible to write something. That I, a fifth grader, a small speck in a big world, can actually write something. Granted, my group consisted of a ton of my good friends, our story was a huge joke and we laughed 99% of the time, but we had fun. More importantly, I realized that the (unreal) assumption that I had in my head that you had to be one of the select few who I guess I thought were magically chosen could only write a book, was absolutely and entirely fake. Anyone can write a book.
With just my love of horses still overwhelming my life (ok, I will admit that I was one of those crazy horse girls as a child and honestly, I don't regret it, those days of innocence were some of the best, and I made some of my best friends thanks to our shared loved of horses) I entered sixth grade. My middle school at the time offered a full year creative writing class. With a growing interest in writing, I circled the class on my form and handed it in right before fifth grade had ended. Opening my schedule (back when they still came in the mail) the summer before sixth grade I found out that not only did I have the class but so did one of my best friends. That class was a chaotic rollercoaster and unfortunately in a way actually discouraged me not to write for a while. Along with school always consuming my time because I prefer to get the best possible grade I can, and school sometimes feels like having a job except you don't get paid money, you get paid with grades (and in high school a GPA). If I was forced to spend my time five days a week at this school I wanted it to be worth something so I began becoming proud of my grades and worked to achieve them (Note: They were not perfect grades but they were mine and I worked hard for them so I was proud of them). I felt like my writing got worse with this class and it made me feel like I couldn't write, so why should I?
Instead, my brain sparked an idea and it has been a kindling fire ever since.
Seventh and Eight grade were about the same, mostly brainstorming, jotting down notes and stuff. Never actually writing anything substantial because of this fear in my brain that said either "You can't do it" or "You're not ready!"
High school, freshmen year is when it happened. I discovered Sarah J. Maas's bestselling series Throne of Glass (and of course her trilogy A Court Of Thorns And Roses after it was released). I began reading them and fell in absolute LOVE
with them and still do. Sarah's writing mesmerized me and she quickly became one of my favorite authors. I began doing research on her, I wanted to know when she started writing, her secrets to writing so amazingly and after attending one of her book signings she officially became one of my favorite authors and people. She is talented, smart, gorgeous, funny and an inspiring strong women who I have come to adore. I found out that she had begun writing her Bestselling series when she was only sixteen
. That was when I realized that I, a loser freshmen (like all the other Freshmeat) could write a book. It might not reach the same level of success as Sarah's did and I in no way want to be a copy of her but knowing that someone like her, an amazing person and writer, had been writing when she was a teen made me realize that I could write as a teen too. My drafts may never see the light of day and may be rewritten from scratch completely over thirty times before it's even nearing the time to start submitting them to agents but I won't have anything to learn from or rewrite in the future if I don't start writing now.
Ever since that moment of realization I have been writing. I have yet to complete anything but I force myself to sit down and write because now that I know it is possible I find it much easier to do. Granted, I keep getting tangled up with my stories beginnings. By tangled I mean I have gotten about 3,000 words in then realized I hated it and couldn't move on until it was better, got rid of it and started over again. Which is very, very bad, don't do this. You won't get ANYWHERE. Which, recently I have realized and am forcing myself to just charge forward with the draft I am writing. Not reread and not start editing because as soon as I allow myself to start editing the few pages I have on the page, I quickly hate it and refuse to move forward. But that topic is for another time. This one was about learning how I am capable of writing. How you (whoever you are) are capable of writing.
You CAN write. You WILL write.
I believe in you, I know you can do it. All you need is a little discipline, get rid of any distractions, force your cute booty to stay in one spot for a period of time (at least 30-60 minutes but honestly whatever few minutes you can sneak some writing into). You need to also be able to force yourself to finish whatever you start. Even if it is just absolute garbage, think of it as a stepping stone. You need that stone to continue on and heck, you might learn something from it or even gain some confidence because heck you just finished a draft that you wrote. Yeah, you did that and you should be proud.
I don't really know who I am writing this for, all I know is writing this stuff out has helped me and I thought I would share it. Heck, this might even help or inspire a person. A whole person. Which I find so cool. If you read through this wordy and lengthy thing and feel inspired, enjoyed or whatever you felt after reading this. I would honestly love to hear about it, I would love to also hear about you, do you write? Do you have any tips? Are you a published author? If so what was your journey to becoming a published author like?
Wishing you, there is probably no one behind you if there is I am not talking about them so turn your stunning head back to this screen because I am wishing you only the best. Take care of yourself, whoever you are, take care of your mental, emotional and physical state. This is also a friendly reminder that you are valid, you are loved, you are amazing and if you're going through a rough time, from experience, I can tell you that it does get better. I know you might not believe me, and I was just like you, I thought it would never get better and then it did and I was forever grateful. So keep holding on.
~ Makita / Skye