When I grow up I want to be a Writer
Many of us are asked this question starting at a young age. Our first answers are usually something like Power Ranger or Disney Princess, but then as we get older our answers typically start becoming a little more attainable. For me specifically, I’m pretty sure I wanted to be the sixth Spice Girls when I was a little girl. Then as a teenager, I wanted to be on the Disney Channel with the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez.
That obviously didn’t happen, though.
By the time I graduated high school, I thought about going into Music Business, Sociology, and finally English. However, long story short, none of those options worked out for me, so I ended up taking a break from college. I haven’t been back sense, might I add.
Anyway, one thing that has been a constant in my life is my love for reading. I’m the type of person who has to walk into a bookshop whenever I’m near one, even if it’s just to take a look around. With my love of reading, comes my love of writing.
Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing since I was younger. I had a Rugrats diary where I would write about my days and my love for Dirty Dancing, the movie. In the 4th grade, I was awarded the Best Storyteller in my class. I believe the story that really won my teacher, Mrs. Polaski, was the one about me having a flying carpet and going to Burger King in another country.
In high school, I took journalism and shadowed a news journalist one day. My senior year I sent in a poem I wrote in a day to a scholarship contest. While I didn’t win the money, they did picked my poem, “Life is Like a Rollercoaster,” and published it in their book. So, cool!
If you’re interested in reading the poem, you can find that here. 🙂
Now, while I’ve been writing most of my life, I’ve always only considered writing as a hobby and not something that could potentially become a “career” for me. I obviously know people make careers out of writing, but it never occurred to me that I could pursue a career in it for myself.
At least only up until a few years ago.
Okay, so along with my other writing, I’ve also dove into the world of fanfiction writing. It all started on the OG fanfiction site, fanfiction.net. I usually wrote Degrassi fanfiction and continuations for my beloved books that I either didn’t like the ending or wasn’t ready to let go of the characters and their stories. I even wrote a few fanfictions for other TV shows as well. Now, I wouldn’t say I was super popular on the site, but my numbers were pretty good.
I know fanfiction can be seen as taboo in some cases. Some people don’t approve of it because they believe it’s a copyright issue, while others just find it weird and obsessive. Regardless of your own personal opinion of it, you can’t deny that fanfiction is hugely popular and not going anywhere. In fact, there are a few authors who started as fanfiction writers and ended up getting their fanfiction published as a book. Of course, they had to make some changes so that it was no longer fanfiction.
Anway, a few years ago, I moved from writing fanfiction on fanfiction.net and started posting on tumblr. My following started out slowly, but now I have almost 7,000 followers and most of my stories get anywhere from 20-50 notes. The more I wrote for my tumblr, the more I realized that writing was something I was mostly good at and enjoyed doing.
However, I didn’t really give writing as a career a thought until a few of my readers had mentioned that I should write a book or if I had thought about doing writing professionally. And it was only then that I actually started looking into it.
Once I realized I wanted to learn more about writing and becoming a professional writer/author, I started doing tons of research. This ranged from reading books about the craft of writing, watching author youtube videos, and looking into self-publishing versus traditional publishing. I was off to a great start, right?
Not so much.
See in order to become an author of anything, I had to write something. So far the only thing I was writing were my fanfiction stories, but I needed to write something that was truly my own. During my research, I found some Flash Fiction writing contests to enter. Basically, they gave us a prompt and we had to write a story in under 1,000 words. I also didn’t win any of these contests, but I was given feedback from other writers and my stories were published on their websites.
If you would like to read those stories, you can check them out here.
National Novel Writing Month
The next thing I found in my research was this little thing called NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I plan on making a separate post about this, but the gist is that writers all over the world take on the challenge of writing a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days. I have participated every year since 2014 and I know have a few novel manuscripts under my belt. They are nowhere near finished or ready for publication just yet, but they give me something to work with for when the time comes.
A Freelance Career
So, after a few years, I realized I should probably find something that pays. That’s where I found the world of Freelance writing. I took an online email course on how to go about it, which is how I started this blog and bought my domain. I’ll admit I haven’t given much of my time to this blog since starting it, but I hope to change that now by posting a little more regularly.
Besides starting this blog, I also found this website called amreading. I ended up writing for them for a few months. That was my first, and only, paid writing job I’ve had. I won’t get into any specific details, but my time writing for them didn’t last very long. I did, however, get some experience under my belt.
Turning a Dream into Reality
Fast-forward to now, I’m currently working at a school library as a library assistant, which I love. However, I still have a passion for writing. Luckily, working in the school system, I get the summer off, as well as multiple breaks throughout the year. This gives me a lot of time to write, yet I don’t always use that time for writing. Which is one reason I have yet to publish anything.
Although, I hope to change that one day very soon. I want to publish a book and see it on the shelves of bookstores. My dream is to see my books in the hands of my readers. Having it speak to them just like so many books have spoken to me. I want one of my books to be someone’s favorite book.
I’m currently revising and editing one of my manuscripts. My goal is to have it finished by the end of this year. I’m halfway through with this revision as of right now. Here’s to hoping I’m one step closer to one of my dreams actually coming true.
What did you want to be when you were younger? Let me know in the comments!