Words flow through me - they are just as much a part of me as my skin or my hair or my brain. I’m a storyteller, and I always have been. I guess I see the world differently, or at least that’s what they tell me (I’ve never really believed that). Whether I’m somehow unlike the others or whether I’m as common as heartbreak, writing has always been a part of my life. In fact, writing is one of the most fundamental aspects of who I am, although I’ve never ventured to tell my own story. So…here I am, giving it a shot.
My story starts in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1999 when I was born. I am the oldest of seven children, and my parents have now been divorced for four and a half years – a point that becomes important when put into the timeline of my life. I always turned to writing as a young girl because I didn’t have any other way to escape. My childhood was a rough one; it’s mostly defined by fights and tears in my memory. I was homeschooled, meaning that I didn’t have much access to the world outside of the sheltered one my parents built for me. I didn’t have many friends, and the ones I did have viewed me as an outsider, the “weird” one. These are labels I quickly became used to as my family moved over and over again and I was the “new girl” time after time. Looking back, I think those closest to me chose to see me as “weird” because they just couldn’t, and many times didn’t want to, understand. So I mostly lived in the worlds I created on paper, because even when this world didn’t understand, it was enough that I had mine to fall back on. I was a pretty lonely little kid, and in some ways I still am, though so much has changed. Still, through it all I haven’t been able to break my love for pens and notebooks. It’s who I am, something that has been made undeniably clear to me in recent years.
Writing has been a lifeline for me throughout my time as an “angsty” teenager. Through the ups and downs of health issues, severe depression, and continued family problems (including the long-foreseen divorce of my parents), writing has equaled hope in the otherwise dark abyss of high school. Writing and publishing my first 36,000 word novella was a milestone for me, something that I never would have believed in myself to be able to finish. Completing such a difficult project proved that writing is more than a hobby for me, as some would like to convince me that it should be, but in fact is something I could happily spend my life doing. Writing belongs in my future.
I used to be so afraid to label myself as a “writer.” I was filled with doubts and worries (what if I’m not good enough? What if I haven’t written enough to be a real writer? What if I get permanent writer’s block?), and then I realized that a writer is, simply, someone who writes. I certainly do that, as the scribbles and notes sprinkled throughout my countless notebooks would testify to, which must make me a writer. That in itself is a very encouraging thought. I know that writing is what I want to do with my life, and the most daunting roadblock in front of me is my own self-doubt, but any obstacle can be conquered in time. I am so excited to venture out into the world, to share my stories with anyone who will listen. These words are a part of me, and as it’s in their nature to exist to be heard, I’m following where they lead. After all, I just hold the pen.