Beginning a novel is like following a path without knowing where it leads, following a guide you only half-trust. A guide who has promised to show you the worst moments of her life so that you might create your own bittersweet Eden.
Five years ago today, I discovered this for the first time.
I didn’t know it was a novel, at the time. I didn’t know it was anything more than a paragraph for a school challenge.
I was in fifth grade at the time. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn’t particularly like to write. I liked books, but writing them was this elusive secret, this…magic. A magic I didn’t really like to contemplate; one I never imagined I’d take part in.
But my teacher asked everyone to write a paragraph a day for the month of February, and on the 2nd of February, 2010, I began the irreversible journey towards writerhood.
I never edited that novel. I never even named it. But for two years, it was my life, especially after my dad told me I could probably publish it.
Maybe one day I’ll rewrite that novel. From scratch. Scrap the whole thing, start over. That’ll be after I’ve gotten this second one published, maybe after I’ve written another couple; God knows I’ve got enough ideas.
‘Til then, it’s the collection of words that made me a writer. That gave me a place to go with my life.
And that’s pretty darn special for five notebooks collecting dust in a drawer, now ain’t it?