Do you know the feeling of something calling you? A passion so strong that you simply can’t ignore it? That’s how most journeys begin. The ones that take you down dangerous dungeons, where you face adversity unlike anything you’ve ever encountered come from that calling. No matter how much you want to give up, there’s still something inside you that tells you that you simply can’t. That passion is what fuels your journey, and despite all the difficulties, the failures, and other voices telling you that you can’t do it, you never want the journey to stop. Do you know that feeling?
That’s exactly how I started my journey, and I felt that calling at a very young age. I was six years old when I realized my calling. Prior to writing my first novel, I had some experience writing—graphic novels. It was actually thanks to my obsession with the video game Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that I gained my passion for storytelling. A friend of mine gave me that game, and when I played it for the first time, I was hooked. The world was immersive, the story was quite impressive for the era it was made in, and I just found it as solid all around. A Link to the Past set the bar for storytelling games in my mind, but that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, after playing A Link to the Past, it wasn’t long before I quickly began turning my graphic novel series into a handwritten fantasy novel. I used every scrap of blank paper I could gather because I simply couldn’t stop writing. It became a healthy addiction. Well, unhealthy at times since my parents would catch me up in the middle of the night on a school night simply writing away. This was long before I ever had computer access outside of school, so I would use every notebook, every sticky note, everything I could find, and I wrote. Fortunately, it never interfered with my school work, though that isn’t saying much considering that I basically flunked everything except for my Music, P. E., and Science classes until seventh grade when I actually started focusing.
I should probably rewind a bit before I get ahead of myself. The first novel I ever wrote was almost complete in a bound journal with leather casing. It was lime green with a scale-like texture with about 400 pages in it. In just a couple months, I used about 270 pages from that journal for my book, writing whenever I could. I still remember where I stopped. The main characters were stuck in a cave as the character Sahara had been poisoned by a massive spider. For some reason, I stopped writing from there. I had no idea where the story should go. I had a mini existential crisis or something and decided the book was awful, and I threw it away, deciding that writing wasn’t for me.
My parents discovered the book just a couple days later and read through it. They were rather impressed with it, and not in the fake way parents can be sometimes, but they legitimately provided honest constructive criticism to little seven year-old me. They eventually got me a new journal and I kept writing. After many personal adventures and much work with writing, I managed to publish my first novel at the age of twelve, and it’s been sort of a tradition since.
I recently published my latest novel, the beginning of a new series called Black Crystal, but does this mean I’m done? Hell no. I’m only twenty years old. I’ve still got a very long road ahead of me, and I couldn’t be more glad to know that. Every day in every way, we’re all getting better. If you feel the call to write your own story, don’t plan it, keep it secret, and just write it! Have fun. Embrace the difficulty, treat your characters like long-lost friends, and make it a journey to remember.