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My Writing Journey

I've wanted to be a writer since I was four years old. I remember very vividly taking my favorite children's book at that age, taking a piece of paper, and tracing over the letters. I thought that made me a writer. Little did I know, huh? I started writing short stories in second grade and storing them in my desk so they'd never be found. I was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher, but I know how to add and subtract things, so I think I ended up all right. 2+2 is 7, right?

By the time I was ten, when other kids were turning in the bare minimum for their writing assignments, I was creating worlds and turning in pages upon pages to my teachers. They were bad pages, to be clear. I was ten and probably awful, but my teachers encouraged me, and I liked writing, so I kept doing it.

When I was 14, I wrote what would later be termed fanfiction, but I didn’t know that was a thing yet. Buffy the Vampire Slayer came on when I was several weeks shy of my 13th birthday, and I was immediately obsessed. I sat in class at school with my wide-ruled loose-leaf paper, and instead of taking notes, I hand-wrote a script for an episode. I called it Sisterly Love. Yes, it had a title. It also introduced Buffy’s sister. Yeah... about 3 seasons before Dawn arrived (and my sister was better). I wrote another one after that where there was another slayer (before Kendra and Faith were a thing), and I remember being devastated when Buffy episodes aired where suddenly, there was another slayer, and Buffy got a sister, because “those were my ideas.”

In high school, I remember thinking that maybe that meant something. Maybe if I had some of the same ideas as professional writers, that meant I could be one, too. My freshman year of high school, I was supposed to write a 5-page short story. It was an 80-page novella when I turned it in… My teacher liked it, gave a copy to the principal, who then wrote my parents a note. It was a whole thing, and I was embarrassed. It wasn’t my best work; I had to fit the parameters of the assignment. My parents made copies – actual physical copies of this story – and gave it to my aunts and uncles as a Christmas gift. (Talk about a parental brag flex.) I didn’t like that. I didn’t know they’d done it. I wasn’t prepared for the comments I got at the family Christmas party. They were all good, but nothing I was ready to hear. Sidenote: my parents and that high school principal still exchange Christmas cards each year.

Anyway… I thought I wanted to be a writer, so I quit all my sports and decided to focus on school and writing. I took creative writing classes in high school and went to college as an English and Film major because initially, I wanted to write movies or TV shows. I kept writing. In my creative writing courses, I was getting As, and people told me they loved my stuff. During my sophomore year, I decided to hand-write my own autobiography but make up the ending because I was only 19 and I wanted to make the book end with my dream coming true. I later typed it up.