The start of my writing career

We all started writing one day – whether it was a hobby or to vent some frustrations. I started my writing career young. The earliest memory I have is penning a story about a fairy. It was about 4 sentences long but that’s where my love for the written word birthed.

At school, I used to love creative writing classes and can recall an English class where the teacher asked to think of a story and to ensure we filled out the ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ and ‘end’ forms provided. I had so many stories in my head I didn’t know where to begin.

Believe it or not, I credit the Backstreet Boys on giving me my creative voice. When I was about 12, I started writing a book, about a girl who met the group when they got lost and appeared on her front door. In my mind, if I wrote about it, it would happen!

This story ended up becoming a series. I wrote 5 of these novels where the main character Joelle, grew up and married Nick Carter. I was a kid, okay!

I handwrote these books in binders and kept them hidden in my closest. No one ever read them. I threw them out when I moved out of home in 2005 and I cringe at the thought if anyone came across them. If I never saw the Backstreet Boys on TV back in 1997, would I be writing today?

After that, my writing bloomed. When I was in high school, I wrote a fan fiction X Files book and a Saving Private Ryan clone called Resistance to Fear. I loved to write. After school, I would fight my sister on the computer and write my novels. I would save them on my floppy disks and keep them somewhere safe.

I was naive to the publishing industry and didn’t even consider publishing my books until further in life.  Back then, I thought it was normal to pay to have your book published. (More on that later)

Once I had established a bit of a writing bug, I penned a book called Giblin the Conquerer. It was a sci-fi/fantasy novel, inspired by Emily Rhoda’s Rowan of Rin series. I don’t recall how long it took me to write but I was so proud of it when I completed it. I’ve since lost the manuscript. I had printed it out and misplaced the floppy disk so I have no idea where it is!

My writing halted for a little while when I finished high school in 2003. After that, my next big project was ‘All She ever Wanted.’ At the time in my life, I had moved away from home to live in Sydney and start an actual career. I wrote any chance I got – on my lunch break, at home after dinner, on the weekend. It took me 12 months to finish it – with a 6 month gap in between. I found what ‘writer’s block’ truly meant.

When I was satisfied it was finished, I asked a work colleague at the time about publishing my book. She suggested a vanity publisher her sister had used. Back then, I had no idea paying to have your book published wasn’t ‘normal’. It cost me $2200 at the time and it felt good to have the book in my hands. It was released in 2008. A copy was sent to the National Library and I even got an interview on SWR FM.

I  was now a published author and very proud of my accomplishments. During this time, I penned another novel, The Guardian, which never got finished. Looking back on it, it could have become a good piece, but I lost my passion for it and my writing waned again.

I took another ‘break’ and began researching my novel ‘Darkness before Dawn‘ in 2011. I had such a big lapse in writing, I had no idea how long it would take me to finish it. After a year of researching, writing, beta reading, revising and editing, it was ready to go in 2012. This novel was truly a challenge for me, but I loved every minute of it. The first draft is so different to the version that got published that it really showed me how much I matured as a writer and a person. However I cringe at my earlier work!

Since that moment, writing has become a staple in my life. I have since published 4 books traditionally, with another to be released in 2015. I look forward to the next ten years in my writing career and where it will lead me!

I would love to know your writing journey. Please comment in the section below.

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