An elf, a dragon, and a unicorn walk into a forest.
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? Truth be told, you wouldn’t be terribly far off if you thought so.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why and how I became a writer. I thought I’d share a little bit about my writing journey.
I started writing stories pretty early in life. I’d always loved reading them and eventually started coming up with my own ideas. In the second grade, I came up with my first story.
Because I don’t do things by half, my friend and I decided to create a series of books. In second grade. We knew absolutely nothing about making books, but we were determined. I’d write the stories, she’d draw the pictures, and boom! Book series. The stories followed Becca Johnson, a second grader like us, who solved mysteries. Unfortunately, I don’t think we got farther than deciding on characters. I doubt we ever even had a plot.
After that, I took a break from my writing career and focused on school. But when I was a seventh grader, I decided that I wanted to write books. I was realistic about my goal, knowing that I’d probably have to have a ‘real’ job and write in my free time.
I was taking a creative writing class, as all seventh graders in my school were required to, and had written a short story for my final project. But I ran into a problem. There was a limit to how long the story could be and I was over it. Not only that, but I had so many more ideas that I hadn’t even put in yet. I cut the story to a more manageable length and turned it in, but I was’t done with it. I decided that I would turn my idea into a book.
The idea has changed a lot over the years, but when I first created it, The Lost Realm was a fantasy story about a girl who encountered an elf, a dragon, and a unicorn in the woods when she loses her way. It was a very juvenile story, and while it has gotten a lot better, I’m not sure I’ll ever do anything with it.
In high school, I discovered that publishing houses exist (yes, I knew they existed before that, but I had never really thought about them before). More than that, I realized that someone has to read books and make them. That’s when I decided what to do with my life. I wanted to be an editor. I couldn’t think of anything better than to get paid for reading books all day.
Despite the fact that I’m pursuing a career in the publishing industry, I still write. I still hope to get my own books out there on shelves someday.
So where am I today? I’m at school, for a little while longer, at least. I’ve learned so much and had some incredible opportunities. I’ve seen quite a few dreams come true: I’ve gotten paid for my writing, I’ve met editors, and I’ve done an internship with a magazine I loved growing up. Now I’m applying for jobs at publishing houses (which is absolutely terrifying). I find time to write almost every day and have actually finished a book that I hope to get published.
I think I might still have some of the Becca Johnson papers floating around somewhere. If I can find them, I’ll post pictures on Facebook and Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled!
Until next time, word nerds!