Welcome to this week's edition of Way Back Wednesday!
I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I didn't always dream of being a published writer, but I did always find satisfaction in the writing process, unveiling plots and learning how characters dealt with adversity.
But it wasn't my stories that made a splash in my college years.
My best friend was the one who kept suggesting I work toward publication. She believed in me enough to keep at me, keep me working on stories and getting better. But when I was a senior in college, she was the one writing the stories.
One story in particular had me as the main character and I was a star singer (because that's what I really wanted to be) and writer. She'd write a chapter at a time and then send it to me at school. The dorm floor I was on had a few of my long-time friends and a few new friends who'd just started school that year. When I received a chapter in the mail, I'd read it and then share it with "the girls". Soon, my friend started adding my dorm friends into the story, and everyone waited eagerly for the next chapter. It got to a point where when I received the next chapter in the mail, I would let everyone know on the dorm floor and we'd make plans for them to all come down to my room. There, we'd all sit- on the floor, on the bed, in the chair, in the beanbag- and we'd enjoy the latest chapter of the story. They liked being included, I loved seeing their excitement.
I think this was one of the events that truly did steer me in the direction of working toward publication. I could see how excited the "readers" got with each new chapter. I could see their enthusiasm as they'd stop me on campus or in the halls and ask, "Did you get the new chapter yet?" I enjoyed watching their reactions to the events in the story. I can't say I really knew for sure I wanted to write, but these activities definitely had an impact. They brought me closer to my friends and helped shape my future.