When I was younger, before I could even write coherently I had this magic journal, I would scribble down a story while telling it to someone, a friend, a cousin or my parents and magically the next time I went to read the scribbles it would be transformed into a new, completely different tale. Of course it wasn’t a magical notebook, just me with a large imagination that could string together a new story on the spot. This is why I mostly call myself a lifelong storyteller versus a writer. A writer is someone that puts pen, pencil, to paper, or fingers to a keyboard and writes a tale, where as I was unable to even write but was still telling stories, and making up new far off places.
Storytelling has been a constant in my childhood memories. I remember this large chalkboard we had in our kitchen when I was in elementary school and I remember being so proud when I filled the chalkboard with my own story. Memories of turning over a large cardboard box and making it into a fort, crawling under with just a notebook, pencil and a flashlight and spending hours attempting to write by flashlight fill my mind. Memories of me as a young child acting out my fantasies of a story and then returning to write on my nice new white desk from Ikea that I received as a Christmas gift from my parents.
I’m not sure when my writing became more mature, if I think back the most notable moment would most likely be when I was in treatment for my mental health issues as a young teenage, where in my anxiety group I had to write a short story of me facing my fear that every time my parents or sister left the house they would not return safely, or at all…of course I was unable to face this fear so I had to face it in writing. That night of my group I remember reading out my story (facing yet another fear of public speaking) and when I finished the whole group, even the leaders were quite for a few moments later. My mother read the story of the car ride home and I felt horrible that I was the cause, my writing was the cause. I later found out it was because how realistic I made the story she said, all the details made it seem like it actually happened and I was just re counting it in writing.
That story was when my father told me about Stephen King, how he became famous for writing about his fears…I became obsessed with reading and learning all that I could about Stephen King and became ecstatic that someone else out there was being honest and writing the same way I was, all about there fears and there troubles, and since he was a bestselling author there was proof that it worked, and that people enjoyed that genre of writing. After finding out about Stephen King I stopped forcing myself to write happy, positive poetry and stories, at the time that was not what I was capable or was good at writing, my niche was darker and anxiety provoking work, and allowing myself to write these works helped me become better at the craft.
I began attempting to publish my work after I finished my Writers Craft course in high school. I remember writing a poetry anthology as my master work, it was filled with poetry about my depression, my self injury, and my past abusive relationship. All of these things I had mostly stable but my teacher became worried the day after I handed in my work, she felt so much pain she said and it was as if it was happening to her she said that she felt the need to call the school counselor, at first I was angry, I had been through enough psychologists I did not need to see a counselor again, but then my friend explained to me how flattering I could see it as, my poetry was so good that my teacher thought that all that pain was happening still, that she even felt the pain from the words that I must be a good writer.
When I was nineteen one of my short poems was accepted for a poetry anthology, I was ecstatic, my first published work! But just a month after the acceptance letter I was admitted to the adult psychiatric ward and behind those walls I was unable to finish the paperwork allowing the publishing company to publish my poem. The anthology was printed and sold without my poetry inside it, but I still have that acceptance letter hung on my wall. Reminding me that only after a year of trying to get published someone did think my work was right for there publication.
I’m currently still trying to get published, my biggest dream is to be published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology and am returning constantly to there site to see what they are looking for as submissions. I’m also trying to write more uplifting piece’s of work, which has become slightly easier since the birth of my daughter.