My high school reunion is coming up this year. In many ways, I can’t believe it is already that time. But, the event has caused me to think back to my first novel. I wrote The Curse of Atlantis while a sophomore in high school. I actually finished it junior year. When I think about the kid I was then, I sigh. I was that student who didn’t want to be called on. I would rather go through invisible than to gather any sort of attention. For that reason, I didn’t tell many peers about my writing hobby. In fact, many are shocked to learn I wrote my first published novel while attending classes with them. I wrote on the weekends, on holidays instead of going to the greatest parties or events. I went to my senior prom only because my father forced me to. Like I said…I was one of those people. 🙂
While I am still, for all intents and purposes, an introvert, I look back at that time and never want to go back. In fact, the only time I even entertain the idea is when I wonder what it would be like to go back as the person I am today. After those brief moments of insanity I realize being a teen is not something I would like to relive.
Upon this self-examination, I began looking at my growth as a writer. Everything from sentence structure to plot development to character growth…it all has matured along with me. I have experienced and seen more. I am no longer locked in a room. That can only add to the stories I write. My understanding of the world and how it operates has grown. How could that not reflect in my stories? Bet even my self-assurance has helped strengthened my style.
Life is all about patience. From waiting in line at the convenient store to waiting for a dream to be fulfilled….or a computer to come back to normal after crashing! Everything takes patience. I, for one, lack this trait. Yet, I don’t think growing in the craft is a process one can rush. It’s kind of like baking a cake in the oven. You can yell at the oven all you want, the cake will be done when it gets done. I think there is a reason why so many authors are not in their teens, even though many of them will admit they have been writing that long. Allowing a skill to mature and develop is the most important part. Are there things we can do to help the process? Sure. The cake won’t bake itself. But patience is important.
Would I go back to that person (or writer) I was in high school? Never. Do I ever regret going through that experience? Absolutely not. It is what made me who I am. Am I done growing yet? No. But isn’t the ride the best part?