I so enjoyed reading Brandilyn Collin’s very long saga about how she got published. If you are looking for something funny, suspenseful, helpful and hopeful, hop on over to her blog. Scroll down to Stories, then How I Got Here. Read from that February 2005 post onward. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
So, yeah, I’m a copycatter. Thus begins my long saga–hopefully with wit and candor and pathos peppered in at proper times.
In second grade, my teacher wrote a comment home to my mom about my creativity in writing. It was one of the first positive comments I’d received from a teacher. I remembered what she wrote, clung to it.
Then, later as a sixth grader, my Aunt Julie (everyone should have an Aunt Julie) bought me a diary. There, I spilled all my sordid secrets like which boy I liked, what jeans I needed to get to be popular, and details of petty arguments with friends. My best friend and I each had diaries, and when we’d see each other, we’d write wild guest entries to each other.
I wrote in diaries (later called journals when I was sophisticated) all of my life, through tumultuous teen years, through the journey I walked when I met Jesus at fifteen, to college and beyond. The blank page was a beckoning place for me–a built-in counselor who would readily listen to me ramble at any hour of the day or night. I learned to be utterly vulnerable on the pages of my journals. I cried out prayers. Ranted at God. Wrote love poems to Jesus. Listed all the things I needed to do in a day. Budgeted, even.
I became accustomed to writing my thoughts and angst. I even wrote a suicide poem I didn’t mean. But I loved the cadence of the words so much, I kept that poem, reveling in the flow of words.
In high school, I, by some minor miracle, made it into Honors English. I did fine on the test portion of the entrance exam, but the essay I wrote was rubbish. I remember it asked for three literary references. I had grown up watching TV to fill the quietness of my home. It’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t shake hands with books at an early age. So the only book I could remember to round out my three references was a book called The Missing Persons League–a science fiction piece that hardly counted as high literature.
When I later chatted with my teacher about my “literary” reference, we had a good laugh about it. I think she took pity on me and let me take her class, despite my lack of Bertrand-like literary savvy.
So, I made it through Honors English. Like the good little overachiever I was, I graduated with straight A’s and headed off to college–to become a math major.