Writing, not writing, and the future

Between age 14ish and today, I've changed my mind a whole lot about what I want to do when I'm an adult. I thought I would have a ranch and teach therapeutic riding. I still love riding, but my mind is far from where it was. Although I'd still like to live near a forest and a waterfall, my aspirations have gone in a direction I never imagined they'd go. My passion is creative writing.

As long as I can remember, I've struggled with writing. I could never make the words flow across the page as they did in my mind. My reports and essays stunk, and well, still stink. Do you ever make up a character for yourself and put yourself into a book or movie? I do that a lot, and the stories I was creating became more like my own than fan-fiction. My brilliant mom suggested to me that I should try writing it out. Me being me, I shrugged and protested but finally sat down in front of my laptop and started to write.

The paragraphs that came out of my fingers were not incredible, they really were not. But the ideas behind the story? I shocked myself by how the stories came pouring out with such force! I wrote and wrote and wrote for about 6 months, then stopped for another 6 months. I had 20 short 4-6 page chapters on three or four different stories. At that point, my mind was so overcome with the joy of expressing all of my creativity and imagination that every fantasy aspect of any stories I wanted to write went into that one "book."

Well, I didn't like it. I though that I liked it, I thought that I loved my characters, I thought that my setting and culture and back-story was perfect. Needless to say, they weren't. So many ideas had been jammed together that even I didn't know where I was going with them all. So I took a break, letting my mind go over things, think on what I really wanted to say. Turns out, I wanted to say something much, much deeper, and there were better ways to do it than what I'd been trying before.

Chapter 1 - Kalissa's Conundrum. This was the title of my new first chapter, and I loved it. I loved it so much that I refused to see just how ridiculous it was, and how what I had rewritten was nothing that I wanted to say, nothing that would grip readers as they ventured into my fantasy world. So I tried again, tweaking little bits, but I wasn't ready to change anything big parts, not again.

I talked with my mom, with my best friend who also likes to write. I puzzled and pondered and dreamed and imagined, until I was finally ready to let go. I wrested the paper out of my clenched fists and smoothed it out, setting it aside as history. Then I turned to a new page, and started to write.

The words that flowed off of my fingers this time, these were everyday thoughts. My characters spoke as I would, the settings were fresh off the press in my mind. I didn't pour over what to say. Still, it wasn't perfect, or rather, it wasn't as good as I wanted, but it was a start that I could continue with. Later, I changed a few key tidbits and now I'm ready to move on. Or, I can move forward. My story is ripe for writing, and I can't wait, because even though it's mine, I don't know every place my imagination will take me.

So what part does writing have to do with where I'm going in the future? For the first time, I'm really positive about what I want to do. I'll be majoring in professional writing, and probably minoring in illustration. I'd been into graphic design, and photo editing and all that, but illustration hits the right buttons in my brain. I'd love to be able to design my own book covers, maps, and my friend Victoria has assured me I can do the same for her books. She's a creative writing too, and in college already.

It's my senior year coming up. I'm terrified and excited. I think it'll be good, this last year, even though I'm not looking forward to turning 18. It seems an unreal age to me. In my mind, I'm still 16 - sweet 16 - I think I was made for that age. If only I could have had three years to figure out 16, then 17 wouldn't have been so bad and I might be ready or more ready for 18. I still can't drive!

But God knows what he's doing. I'm so silly, that I never mentioned before. I write Christian fantasy. If that scares you, don't worry about it. In preparation for reading my books (and I will have published books, I will!) I suggest you try the DragonKeeper chronicles by Donita K. Paul. They are incredible and beautiful, funny, adventurous and just the right level of seriousness.

Yes, I will always try and convince you to read books that I've found to be amazing. I'm a book lover and that will never change!