When did I decide to become a writer?

This blog was originally posted at Kayla’s read and reviews here:

I hate it when people ask me when I decided to become a writer, because to me it was never a conscious decision. I’ve been writing all my life. Before I could read I called it make believe, but the same basic components were there. Plotting, developing characters, dialogue. It’s all there.

I developed much of my writing style through reading. I would read my books with a black marker and a pen in hand, so I could change anything I didn’t like. If the next book wasn’t coming out soon enough, I’d create my own version.

I did that with shows too. As soon as Sailor Moon went off I’d start acting out the next episode. I was so proud of myself, because I was almost always right.

Took me awhile to realize the show had a rather repetitive formula…

While I was in middle school I wrote my first book. It was terrible. I still have it on a floppy disk, and I’m too terrified to open the file because it was that bad. In high school I was able to take creative writing classes and learned how to critique the work of my peers.

I enjoyed writing so much that when I ran out of creative writing classes in high school, I begged my school councilor to let me take it at the college through joint enrollment. In the summer between eleventh and twelfth grade I took English 1101 and 1102. During my senior year I took introduction to creative writing, advanced fiction writing, advanced non fiction writing, advanced poetry writing, and screenplay writing. The next year I took my core classes and even more creative writing classes. Including autobiographical writing, science fiction and fantasy writing, technical writing, and every other writing class I could find. Once I ran out I moved to Atlanta to get an English degree with a concentration in creative writing. I’m finishing up my masters now, and am applying to the Phd program with a creative writing dissertation.

Despite my lifetime commitment to writing, my personal writing didn’t really take off until I joined my writers group. I was familiar with the workshop format through my schooling, but there’s something different about a group of people who willingly spend Saturday nights away from their family and friends to talk about their writing that just can’t be replicated in a classroom.

I’m very excited for my first book, Persephone, to be released. It’s been a long journey to publication, and I can’t really tell when it started. Did it begin when I penned my first draft? Or was it in college when I was learning everything I could about writing? Was it before then when I was acting out the next episode of Sailor Moon? Each of those little moments were important because of where they led. Now my book is out of my hands and into the readers.

Time to start the next one.

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