- In the seventh grade, I had a very peculiar English teacher, named Ms. Burnz (hopefully I spelled that correctly to give her name justice). She gave me a small book, titled Go Ask Alice. She told me that, if I wanted to, I could read a more intense book. Of course, I said yes. Go Ask Alice was the first book that made me feel. It is a true story about a young teenager struggling with addiction, and for 12 or 13 y/o me, it stuck. It made me interested in books and writing and I wanted to explore writing more because of this book. My teacher also encouraged daily 5-10 minute writings where we could write about anything. There would always be a prompt, but we could write at our own leisure. I wrote down my dreams, my thoughts, poems, feelings – it was the first time I could see myself writing for me. I could process through my life via words on a piece of paper. Now, a lot of it reads like gibberish, lots of squiggles, and tantrums, but it was the process of writing that helped little me understand the world around her. It was my beginning.
- In the 8th grade, my teacher had us participate in NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month). Over the course of the month, I wrote about 20,000 word chick-lit (the equivalent of a chick flick). Everything was typed on the computer and then submitted onto the NaNoWriMo forum online. I was about 13 and it was my first attempt at a book. It was extremely cheesy with a terrible plot about a romance between and girl and a guy and she broke her leg and he was kind – it was a mess, but it was mine. It was the first time that I realized that I could write. Even if it was a cheesy chick lit – I could write. And I loved first person. I loved dialogue. I loved deep, intense, realistic thoughts. I still do.
- In the 10th grade, I started in Journalism with my high school newspaper. I was about 15 and wrote about California law on the Pledge of Allegiance. I was bored by the repetition of repeating the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, to the point that it lost it value, for me at least. So, I researched about patriotic acts in public schools and found out that we didn’t have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, the school was only required to complete some patriotic act as a school each day. They were small: like reading history, looking at a picture, or reciting the Pledge – reciting the Pledge was just the easiest and fastest way to accomplish that requirement everyday. So I wrote an opinion article about it and I loved writing it and researching the information. I was extremely proud of my article. It was the first time I realized that I could write about something important, instead of my feelings, thoughts, and crazy nights with friends. Plus, I could write about something that others could read and learn from; I could connect with my fellow students.
- Last spring break I went to Tijuana, Mexico with my college ministry (which was amazing, and perhaps for another blog post entirely). I had been working on a book for a while, probably about two years and the Lord told me that I had too much pride in my book. He was right, but I didn’t want to stop writing because I loved the book. It was my baby. Every part of it was mine. But, I started to use it as a means to gain attention and to gain appreciation. I definitely had soo much pride that I was caught up in piece. At this point in my life, I was dedicating my life the Lord. I was learning what it meant to be loved by Him and what it meant to follow Him. I was learning humility, and my pride in my book kept me away from the Lord because my book was first, and not Him. And He is supposed to be first, because for Him, I am first. So, after my experience in Tijuana, I gave my book over to one of my good friends as a symbol of submitting to the Lord and handing a huge piece of my pride over. It changed my perspective on writing: no longer was it just about me, it was about the Lord, too.
It was the first time I realized that I could write about something important.