Once a Writer, Always a Writer


I've been a writer all my life. Not like the "I've been writing poems since I was six and had my first novel idea when I was eight," (although that's totally awesome for anyone who can say that!) type of writer. No, I've been a journaler (is that a word? Don't think so, but I'm going with it!) since longer than I can remember. I wrote about my first crush in a diary accessorized with a lock and key. I wrote about how I wanted to change the world (Yes, I was one of those weird kids that sat on the side of the tub one day and said to my mother, "Mom, I want to do everything right. I always want to make the right decisions and be a good person in this world," out of nowhere. My mom looked at me shocked, but impressed with such a statement coming out of a ten-year-old's mouth and said, "Right on! Sounds good to me!" Anyways, back to our topic here...). ;) I also wrote when I was upset, angry, excited, or just because it's what I did...write. And I did it daily. (Did I just start a sentence with "And?" Ahh the liberty of blogging...I can escape the bonds of written rules and be grammatically incorrect whenever I feel like it!)

Growing up, I also acquired a love for reading. Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and stories about famous historical heroes filled my bookshelves. I remember falling in love with my first novel in middle school, when I read Fortune's Journey by Bruce Coville. I was hungry for good works of literature-- ones that consumed me and left me thinking about them for days. The ones that took me on great adventures, right in the midst of my bedroom's four walls. The ones with epic characters that had qualities I admired, but that I could also relate with in other areas.

I read several more titles that upon finishing I felt compelled to own, so that I could have it in my collection for the day I'd "forget" the storyline and read it all over again (I still do that, and my friends and family still ask me why I must own each of them when "you'll only read them once!" and I still tell them over and over again, "I hate to break it to you, but I own them so that I could go back and read it one day, when I forget some of the details!) And life changed forever.

I was in high school- a Junior to be exact, and I was assigned the book 1984 by George Orwell in English class. I became obsessed with the title...OBSESSED! My younger sister would glance at me and shake her head whenever I'd come up for air between paragraphs, with comments like, "What the heck? Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous! I can't believe they're allowed to do this! If I was them I'd..." as if I were having a heated conversation with a real-live person. Nope, I was fighting with the plot of a book that was written by imagination.

Then I read more titles from the Dystopian Genre of my school's library... Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. get the idea. I was consumed by the "what-ifs" of humanity really screwing up and trying to put itself back together again. I was haunted by the horror of their leaders making decisions with the "common good" in mind.

Then two years ago happened. I read The Hunger Games series and was horrified all over again, but inspired by it all. I cried over the idea of people in the Capitol being so obsessed over stupid things like (hideous) fashion sense, titles, money, and gossip, when people were being enslaved in the districts to provide for their every need in exchange for "protection." Yeah, okay.

I cried when Peeta and Katnis were at President Snow's lavish party for the new victors and the capitol citizens instructed them to drink a solution that would cause them to vomit everything they'd just eaten, so that they could go back to the banquet table and eat some more. I was angry because mothers were watching their babies die of starvation and knowing there was nothing they could do but stand by and watch. When children were summoned and forced to participate in "games" that would escort them to their nationally televised death. I was angry at such ideas and then I realized, that many citizens of the United States (although I love, love, love my country) are much like the people of the capitol. I've been to third-world countries and have fed, clothed, and helped people build roofs for their houses, dug holes for simple sanitation outposts and have seen orphans walking around dirty and in rags, with no hope of even acquiring their next meal. And here I am, thinking about what new outfit I'm going to purchase for the next social event in my life, or what designer purse I'm going to fork out a few hundred dollars for next. (I like nice stuff, but between the basic needs of people not being met and the correlation of one of The Hunger Games' underlying messages, it really got me thinking again).

I was inspired by George Orwell initially, then experiences in Kenya, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and then again by Suzanne Collins. I decided that one day, I'd like to write something that would inspire someone else...that would make them really think. I decided that one day, I would like to  write something that I would want to read. Something that would have me on the edge of my seat and that would consume me long after I'd read the last page...and that's where my writers journey has me now. :)

In July (2014), I got my first plot idea. Then came the storyline, characters, and scene after a matter of hours. Once I had outlined my ideas for all three books in my series, I dove into sleepless nights of writing chapter after chapter. That is, until my University decided to reel us all back into reality to work towards earning our degrees. Lame...I know. So now I juggle finishing the last few chapters on the first installment of (you guessed it!) my dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA novel, between six college classes, my wonderful hunk-of-a-husband, three beautiful daughters, softball life, and training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2016, and of course, all of you wonderful people! I don't know where I find time for all of the priceless aspects of my life, but I guess I just believe that we make time for the things we want to do. So, if you're wondering how to become a writer, how to inspire people about the things you feel passionate about, or how to write the next bestseller, I'll tell you what they all have in common: a brain, an imagination, and something to write with. If you have all of these (which, if you're reading this right now I sure hope that you do!) I'd say you're in good shape to make it happen. ;) Needless to say (but I'm going to anyways), "Once a writer...always a writer."

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