There’s a common myth among writers that people were born with the talent to write.

My mom has always told me that I have a “gift” in writing, and while I enjoy compliments, I have to argue that I wasn’t born with special writing skills. Perhaps I had instilled in me certain qualities that are required to be a writer, such as desire, drive and persistence, but the skill is definitely something I have had to pursue.

Every writer has their origin story, that moment when they realize this is what they’re meant to do with their life. I didn’t know writing was my thing until the ripe old age of nine. I remember distinctively talking to one of my little 4th-grade friends, a boy, so I was probably nervous to begin with. We were coming down the stairs of our Catholic grade school, and he popped the question:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I stated ever-so confidently…

“An author.”

My answer has never changed.

That year I fell in love with reading, thanks in large to the 100+ book collection of The Babysitters Club. I used to binge read those books faster than you television fans hit up the newest season of House of Cards. Those books swept me up into their world–I remember the whole class leaving for church or gym or something one day and I was so lost in my book that I didn’t notice I was the only student in the classroom, nose deep in a book. 

After getting hooked on the lives of Kristy and Dawn and boy-crazy Stacey, I knew I wanted to write stories and craft fascinating lives that came from the imagination. I started writing stories in notebooks, often replicating what I thought were cool high school worlds, like Saved by the Bell, from my nerdy 9-year-old point of view.

In my various stages of growing up, I’ve gone in and out of reading and writing phases. I eventually grew out of The Babysitters Club and moved on to Sweet Valley High. Now as an “adult”, I still find that I love stories based on teenagers and high school kids. I also love good fluffy chick lit books that explore both light and deep issues that everyday women face. I can try all I want to be a more sophisticated reader, and while I enjoy reading thrillers, mysteries and nonfiction, women’s fiction and young adult is what I’ll always come back to.

In turn, those genres are what I love to write.

As a 26-year-old who is working full time, expanding her freelance writing business, planning a wedding and caring for a fur baby, I have my fair share of both failing and winning moments. I love sharing the lessons I learn through my writing and hope other women can connect and relate on some level.

Getting lost in the stories that are so parallel to my questions and ideas of life lights me up every day. I am lucky to get to share both real and imaginative stories with the world through nonfiction and fiction. It makes me so happy to say that I am living out the dream my 9-year-old self created.

Reader to Writer: My Origin Story
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