I can’t remember the pivotal moment in my writing career anymore. But something changed in me between high school and college.
In high school, I wrote because I had so many stories inside of me. I cared less about who read them. I kept my manuscripts – all three of them – behind closed doors. No one saw them except for one person: Lily. She, in fact, turned my first novel down. It’s too boring and confusing, she had said.
I researched writing and publishing more. My dreams got crushed when I realized it’d take at least five years to get a literary agent.
I wanted my book published before I graduated college, but that was a far-fetched dream. Perhaps I should’ve realized how far my dreams were.
But I didn’t stop.
I changed my entire novel around. I got Lily to say, It’s getting better. Not amazing. Not fantastic. But better. Which meant I still had more work to do.
I changed my perception again when college slapped me in the face. Sitting in a room with other writers who were on the same level or higher was intimidating to say the least. Thoughts of failing as a writer slipped into my head more than they should’ve.
But I didn’t stop.
I kept on writing, editing, reading, and researching, which seemed to be a pattern in all determined writers. No one got into the field unless they knew the field. So, I wrote, edited, and researched every day.
I knew about the writer’s platform and how little publishing companies helped sell a book. I researched the top writers in America and wrote down their publishers. I made sure I knew more about the writing field even if it brought my confidence down even more.
After my first college writing class, Lily and I sat at a Starbucks in Barnes and Noble. We had some type of croissant between us. I was editing on my iPad while she read the newest version of my novel. But she glanced up and said something that caught my attention. You know, your writing has improved a lot. You write more like a published author now.
I write like what?
Even though she said those words I never felt like it much after that. As someone beginning to see the writing world with its excitement and dangers, I felt like I’m more of a ripple in the ocean instead of a wave. Someday, I might be a wave, but I wasn’t quite there yet and it was aggravating.
I haven’t stopped yet.