Why I am Writing My First Book
This is to motivate me in my book journey. I hope it also inspires you to write or to follow me as I work to make this happen.
Why am I writing it? For myself and for you.
I have felt the power of writing in two ways. As the writer, I have felt how central writing has been to my healing and growth. On the receiving end, reading others’ writing, I have felt understood, informed, and empowered. These are the emotions I want to evoke with my book.
What is my book about? I believe our identities are shaped by certain segments of our human experience. Even if the details and memories are different from person to person, the emotions are universally relatable. My book will be a combination of short introductions on each segment and poetry. Poetry is for me the best encapsulation of self-interpretation. We can face the same experiences in our lives but who we become and how we feel is based on our own interpretations of those experiences.
It will not all be serious philosophical musings. I believe in the beauty of simple things. Simple moments. There is nothing I love more than a cup of good coffee or the right temperature of a breeze or a genuine smile.
What is my purpose with this book? I want this book to be the kind both you and I can pick up at any time and really feel. I want emotions to feel validated and as general as it might sound, for the reader to feel inspired by life’s beauty. I enjoy reading my own writing because it is all based on my truth, but from how my past writing has been received, this truth is not unique to me. It is your truth too, because what makes you think from this book and what you do with it is up to you.
Do I have a title? Not yet. Whatever at the end of this journey it becomes I’ll be sure to let you know.
Why am I really writing it?
Best told through looking at my past. I was only five when I would copy entire books. I’m still not entirely sure what my purpose was, but I would write word for word each page of these books. I would even add my own illustrations. I would then staple these white printer papers landscape style together to create my own “book.”
I was also five or six (kindergarten) when I wrote my first short story for my school’s annual writing contest. I still have it somewhere in my house, and I remember it involved 3 fairies with one fairy getting kidnapped. It purely came from my own imagination. The stories were judged by a panel of the school’s administrators and teachers, and for the kindergarten grade level, I won best illustration for what I drew to accompany my writing.
Something about that wasn’t enough. I have always loved art and still do. I paint and have a portfolio, but I wanted to be good at everything. No one found out but the next year in first grade, I was deciding what to write for my submission for the contest. Instead of being creative, I copied the entire plot of the movie Aquamarine and passed it off as my own. It was literally the same story with changed names for the mermaid girl and boy. When I received second place for my writing, I felt terrible. On one hand, I got the recognition I wanted but also I knew it wasn’t my story.
Lesson learned. Every year after and every opportunity I had to be creative, I made it my own so that any recognition meant something.
In high school, I had the opportunity to get involved in journalism and write for my school newspaper, as well as interning at the Stanford Daily. I was telling other people’s stories and actually having a lot of fun doing it. My favorite part was interviewing and asking questions that would light up their faces or make them really think. I also wrote opinion pieces where my voice would shine through, but over time I became self-conscious about what I was putting out into the world. Still, I knew English classes were my favorite, and I looked forward to writing essays.
When I entered college, I decided to major in business. To this day, I believe it was the right decision. But even though I was a business major, I still took at least one class every semester where I could just write. Twenty-page papers, as long as the topic is slightly interesting, are exciting to me and allowed me to continue my passion for writing.
What was different in college before April of this year (so 3 months ago) was I barely put any of my writing out for the world to see. I had three reasons: I thought I had nothing to contribute, I was scared that it would be picked apart, and being too vocal and opinionated could be negative for my image in the business world.
Now when I look back at my reasoning, I laugh because those things don’t matter to me. I write because I want to. I publish because I want to. Even if I am told no, I’m not one to feel defeated. I feel inspired to improve. After much instruction and practice, I have found and refined my own writing style.
And finally, I feel at peace spending my evenings after work, middle of the night, or weekend afternoons writing about the things I love. I also feel no greater joy than when I feel related to and heard, and during this time, I see people all over the world, especially young people, bonding over our struggles and inspiring each other. That has inspired much of my content.
So that’s where my head is at now as I enter my final year of college. And I want to thank Medium and all of you for helping me to get to this place in the short few months I have been active on here. Being a published author is one of the only goals I have that has been consistent over the years. I almost didn’t start writing on here, but opening my heart and contributing my voice louder than I ever have has done wonders.
Stay tuned! The book is projected to be published by spring/summer of next year. See you on the other side, and don’t worry I’ll still be writing on here.