Today I received a kind message from my old high school friend, Robin. It was perfect timing on his part, as I’ve spent the days since my book cover reveal thinking back on my writing roots.The huge response to the cover, along with the anticipation of my book’s release, is the stuff of dreams. It is everything I’ve ever hoped for since the ripe age of seven. Sure, there have been wonderful accolades and successes along the way, but this book is the culmination of so much. Although I am just beginning my journey as a book author, I am quite seasoned in my craft. All the essay success I’ve achieved to date has paved the way for this moment.
I’ve been underestimated for most of my life in one way or another, but mostly because of my blonde hair, outgoing & cheerful personality, and my ability to laugh at myself and not take life too seriously (I was voted “Dizziest” in my 6th grade mock elections). All of those things are a direct contradiction to the writer who dwells inside, but I was good at keeping that girl under wraps. Robin’s message reminded me of that.
I was the girl who took every writing assignment in school as an opportunity to get my voice heard. I’d slave away on first, second, and third drafts, until I was satisfied and ready for reading eyes. It was never about a grade, but about the comments my teachers wrote in red ink. I’ve been a feedback whore since I can remember, but aren’t most writers?
Journalism was my passion for most of high school. It was a great way to say a lot with a little. Journalistic writing shaped my inner editor and made me cognizant of word choices, and whether certain details were important to the story. Journalism provided me with awareness.
Having a desire and need to connect with my creative writing peers is what prompted me to seek out the writer’s club. I knew most of the kids individually, and understood they had formed a clique based on their interests and the fact that most of them were so over the social inequality and teen angst that was high school. I don’t recollect every being unkind to any club member, but that was insignificant on the day I walked in to their world.
Maybe it was my cheerleader uniform, my hair, makeup, or any number of things they found offensive, but the looks I received were scary. I was not welcome, that was obvious. I imagine they believed I would introduce an obnoxious level of fluff into their “we are so much more mature and real than this broad” world. I was the anti-everything ambassador.
That day challenged my trove of insecurities, and cemented my belief that I didn’t fit. And not just that I didn’t fit into the writer’s club, I didn’t fit in anywhere. I’m so thankful I didn’t allow that day to derail my passion. I’ve been writing with a ferocious hunger, and have reaped many rewards for my efforts. I learned that it’s okay not to fit.
Today I celebrate everyone who’s ever walked into a room and received at least one stink-eye. I hope it makes you work harder and be fiercely driven to dwell in your passion!