I remember being in the first grade, probably on the first day, listening to my teacher introduce us to herself and tell us what to expect from the year ahead. I remember tracing the letter ‘B’ in the carpeting as my teacher droned on. To be honest, I’m not really sure how well I was listening. While memories aren’t perfect (especially when you’re so young), I’m fairly certain that I remember my teacher saying something about how good it was that I was tracing letters with my finger in the carpet. I’m not sure why she said that, but she did. I guess maybe she thought it was good that I was already studying and focusing on letters. Who knows.
What I can only guess was days later, my first grade teacher was lecturing us about how someone had stuck a book inside another and how that ruined the binding. I remember feeling guilty because I was the culprit. Of course, my teacher never found out, but it was me.
The first time I really remember writing something is when I wrote this awful song about this kid I liked. The song was really bad – seriously. Fortunately, my writing skills are much better today. To spare myself (and the classmate I liked) the embarrassment, let’s call him Antonio (that wasn’t his name, but my crush did have a first name with three syllables). Let’s say his last name was…Last Name. This is how the main line of the song went:
“Antonio Last Name, Antonio. You’re so nice to me!”
I honestly think it was pretty much just the same line repeated over and over again. Yes, it was that bad.
I’ve always loved to write – really. I’ve always loved to write and I’ve always loved to read (though I admit that I don’t read as much as I used to). I remember that my best friend and I used to write stories in our notebooks together and that I would always love writing in school. English has always been my favorite subject.
I will admit though that I didn’t always know I wanted to be a professional author. I’ve always liked fashion and so being a fashion designer was always something I thought would be pretty cool. However, deep down I think I always knew how much I loved writing, I just didn’t always think of it in terms of wanting to become a published author one day.
As I grew older though, I realized that I wanted my written work to get published. I really wanted my poems and short stories to end up in magazines or for me to write a novel that would end up on the shelves in stores. I always said that it wasn’t about the money and that I just wanted people to like my work. While that’s still the case, I think we can all admit that money becomes a necessity once you get older – even if you wish it weren’t true.
I kept trying to send stuff in, to get stuff published. I kept getting the letters – you know the ones. The letters that nicely say that the publishing company that you sent your work to isn’t looking for the type of work you sent in. I always felt crushed – like any good writer who wants to succeed does.
Don’t get me wrong, I was published in an anthology once. However, to be honest, I’m pretty sure everyone who submitted their poem was accepted and that the company just wanted to sell their books. That’s not an easy thing for me to say, but it’s probably true. I did get published in a poetry magazine though which felt good, but I didn’t get paid and had to pay for the copy of the magazine myself.
Soon after though, something amazing happened! For the first time ever, I was offered money for my writing! This felt fantastic and I was happy to sign on to write for someone and something I respected. After that, things seemed to pick up for my writing.
In addition to blogging and being able to help people through doing what I love, I’m happily making money for my writing and I’ve self-published my first book ever, Rest in Piece! Sure it may not be on the shelves in stores, but it’s available for purchase and I’ve already had some sales. I’m a published author and just knowing that feels wonderful!
*Thank you to everyone who supports my writing and has been an inspiration in my writing journey! Without you, I would not have gotten as far as I have.