While most writers were avid readers since a young age, that really was not the case with me. While I enjoyed stories, I liked having people read them TO me rather than read them myself. I was a very active and outdoorsy kid who would rather run free outside with friends then sit inside for hours. However, I did read the Magic Tree House and Geronimo Stilton series occasionally despite them being way under my age level at the time. My fourth-grade teacher told me to try and branch out my reading a little bit more but if anything, that only hindered my growing love of reading and I stopped for a few months.
When it comes to a writer’s journey, reading is really the start of it all. The falling in love with storytelling and characters and a life apart from our own. And finally, the chance to create our own. While my true love and passion for reading came a little bit later on in my life, I made up for the lack of reading as a younger child with one of my favourite games at the time called “what-if?” I played this almost every day, coming up with different scenarios to ask my mother and that was when my love for storytelling sparked…even though I didn’t realize it at the time. And while I wasn’t reading a lot, I was playing make-believe games with my friends all day every day, and was creating worlds of my own in my head to live in. However, reading did come full force into my life when I was ten years old. I had just moved to a new school in a town close to where my family lived and I spent more time with my older cousin who introduced me to a movie called Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I absolutely adored the movie because of its characters, story and of course its mythology. I had to have more and to my luck, it was a book series. A fantastic book series as well that led me to, later on, realize how terrible the movie was. But it was what got me into reading and became the only series I read for a solid two or three years. Eventually, I expanded my horizon to the spinoff series, The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, and also The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Around this same time, when I was thirteen years old, my eighth grade English class teacher gave us the assignment to write a short story. Since we had just finished a unit on fairy tales, I decided to write a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood where Little Red Riding Hood was an assassin trying to discover the murderer of her family and the kidnapper of her grandmother. It was…awful, but of course, at the time, it wasn’t that bad. That was the turning point of my passion for writing because my teacher gave me such kind and uplifting feedback that I wanted to keep writing stories…and I did!
Writing this story opened the gateway to writing for me and I needed to write more. One day, my younger brother came home from school with a flyer advertising a local(ish) writing contest looking for ocean-themed stories. I submitted to two contests previous to this one with no such luck, but at age thirteen I was anything but unmotivated. I wrote a story inspired by the recent and sudden death of my brand new pet fish, except in the story the fish is flushed down the toilet by its owners who didn’t realize the fish was actually dead. I wrote about the fish’s adventures in the ocean as it tries to figure out where it is and what to do next. Somehow…it won. I, of course, was ecstatic and winning this contest gave me even more validation that maybe I could do this. That moment made me realize that I could potentially make money off of writing and turn it into my career with time, practice, and motivation. Since then, I haven’t stopped writing because that is the best thing you can do to move your career forward; write. Practice and practice and practice and eventually, success will come. That is something I’ve learned in my four years of being an active writer and is ultimately the most important realization. Without stories to share, you won’t get anywhere as a writer.
Thanks for listening to my story on how I became a writer and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know in the comments how you became a writer, and the journey you’ve taken to get to where you are now because I’d love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂
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