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How I became a writer

I knew I was a writer from the day I was born. Okay, so that’s not completely true. Of course I didn’t know I’d want to write when I was born but I did learn something as I grew up and that was I loved reading.

I remember when I was a very small child in the 90’s and Goosebumps by R.L. Stein was popular, heavily popular. I remember very well on Saturdays going with my mother, walking across the George W Bridge in the Bronx, to a small mom and pop bookstore. It was a very small store and it was the only store I knew of. I didn’t know about Barnes and Nobles or other chain bookstores. I would go in and ask the elder gentleman if he had the latest copy of Goosebumps for sale. I’d hear no a lot because in my mind the new book came out every weekend, though I know now that wasn’t the case. On those days I’d hear yes and was presented with the latest installment I would begin reading it right away.

I collected every single Goosebumps book and even went as far as to wrap them in protective wrap so they could stay brand new. When I was not out shopping for new books, or money was tight, I would go to the library and check out as many books as they would allow (and as many as I could carry).  I’d often walk back from the library with my head in the book, literally, and almost cause walking accidents.

As I got older, in junior high, I would often write little stories with characters. It was nothing I’d say should be published but it was the first time I wrote for myself. I’d write a story that included myself and my friends and how we interacted with each other. Then I discovered the world of FanFiction.

Fanfiction.net was my home away from home. I know the best selling trilogy ‘Fifty Shades’ originally came from fanfiction based on a twilight story. Fanfiction was huge (and still is). At the time, I was big into Dragonball Z (an action anime) so I would focus all of my stories based on this show. Now, I know that my character that I created was a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is the most hated made up character in history. She was too perfect but at the time I didn’t care. I just wanted to show my writing.

Was my writing publishing material back then. No way. Very far from it. But I was writing. That was the idea. This continued well into high school and college. By now I’m somewhere between 2003 and 2004. I loved writing fan fiction and I never decided to write anything but fan fiction.

When I finished college I started working and I wasn’t really writing as much as I use to when I was younger. I was growing up, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my new Associate Business Degree and considering other options. It was a few years later that I left my birth home in New York City and traveled to Los Angeles to start a life on my own.

It was a struggle but writing still was not my top priority. Finding a job and a place to stay was. I found many jobs to make ends meet to pay rent for my many places of occupancy. It was somewhere around 2008 that I started writing again.

This story began on a day when I was very upset. I don’t remember why I was upset but I sat in front of my computer desktop and I started writing how I felt. Originally it was just suppose to be my way to vent. Four chapter’s later I realized that it was becoming a story.

I didn’t continue the story as at the time I was in the process of moving from my living situation. The story sat on a flash drive for the next six years. Prior to this move I printed out the chapters I created and kept them in a folder. Each time I moved I’d see that folder and re-read those chapters, telling myself I would continue but never did.

What made me go back into writing?

In 2014 I was starting to really take a look at my life. I had achieved success in my current job that I maintained for five years, graduated with a bachelor degree in Accounting and Finance and was working toward a Masters Degree in the same area. This all seemed great but I was not happy. I started thinking about how I felt every single day. I was going to work and then coming home and that was all I did. Like a robot. Occasionally I would go to fanfiction.net and re-read my old works, laughing at my bad sentence structure. I wanted to do something that made me feel happy. Do something that made me want to get up and actually enjoy what I was doing.

That’s when I discovered NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as I discovered was a month dedicated to writers. The goal? Write 50,000 words in the genre of your choice from November 1st to November 30th. It was a challenge unlike anything I ever had. This time it wasn’t just me writing sporadically. This was a set goal  given to me and I intended to take advantage of it. Now that I decided to join other published/non published writers I had to decide what I wanted to write about.

Going through a mountain of ideas I came across the folder that I had my old story in. Reading it, I kind of liked the idea but I knew I could do much more with it. Scrapping all of it. I started from scratch on November 1st and went beyond my wildest dreams. I wrote during my lunch at work and gave up my weekends in the early morning just to get a back table at my local Starbucks. I spent as much time as I could writing for this challenge.

On November 22nd this happened:

I had completed my novel based on NaNoWriMo standards. What did this mean? I completed over 50,000 words in 22 days. However, I had not completed my manuscript to my liking. In fact, by 50,000 words I was only somewhere in the teen chapters, somewhere between 16 and 19, maybe, I don’t remember exactly. I knew I wanted to write more so I took time to relax and NaNoWriMo ended. Writing my novel did not end for me.

I continued writing starting in the beginning of December until currently. I estimate I have three more chapters to go before I finally finish this manuscript.

This is the first time I have taken my love of literature since I was a young child to this level. I am excited to venture into 2015 working toward perfecting my creation and living the dream I never thought possible.

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