I started writing quite a few years ago now. Normally if someone asks me, I’ll tell them that my ‘origin story’ came from the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum which kicked me off into the world of writing. I don’t remember writing much or planning to be an author or anything before then.
A week or so ago I got a new bookshelf, and while I was reorganising my books, I found myself flicking through some of the folders I had on the completely-crammed-full bottom shelf. In one of these folders, I made a discovery.
This discovery was titled ‘Joy Stories.’
A scuffed looking piece of paper, two hundred and twenty-two words long, 18 pt font (and bold for some reason?), and a very fancy font for my name beneath the title. And don’t forget the very proudly typed ‘age 9’ at the bottom.
The tiny little story was about a girl called Joy Brown, who was—apparently—five years old, and one day she was drying up the breakfast dishes and she had a thought. “Why do we pray?” She asked her dad and he read her a bible verse and her question was answered and Joy was back to her carefree, happy day.
Reading over it, I cringed at first. Goodness me, this story is horrible. But then I actually thought about it a little more.
I wrote six of these ‘Joy Stories’ and little nine year old me was very proud of them. But why? What made me so enthused about writing all these stories?
Right now I distinctly remember when I printed the very first story out and bounded over to my dad completely excited and nervous at the same time and showed it to him. His reaction was exactly perfect. He loved it! He wanted me to write more!
Even though I’d basically forgotten all about that until a few weeks ago, I know that was an important thing in my life. My dad encouraged me—even though the stories were, frankly, not the best (although since I was 9, I get a little excuse 😛 ). His enthusiasm brought out 1,898 words from that small-me, and that’s a noteworthy number.
After the One Year Adventure Novel escapade, I started writing more. I wrote stories on my blog (and no, I’m not linking to them XD) and I had ideas and inspiration and all sorts of exciting things.
And all the way through, my dad cheered me.
Obviously, my mum and my siblings cheered too, but he was right at the beginning. The actual-beginning-that-no-one-remembers-anymore. He encouraged me at the very first, and he still encourages me today.
My dad is the Super-Duper-Hero of my fan club (otherwise known as the ‘family club’ 😉 ) and is always excited about my stories. He wants to hear about what I’ve been writing—the perks and the woes—and he makes me coffee and chai to keep me fueled.
Honestly, I’m so. blessed.
I never did anything to earn that enthusiasm and encouragement and support, but he’s there with bucketloads of it.
Today, it’s my dad’s birthday and, coincidentally, it’s also very close to the exact day that I wrote that very first story about Joy. I’ve come a long way from there, but it wouldn’t have been this much of a joyful, exciting adventure without my cheerleader.
Dad. You are my favourite fanman. Thank you for everything.
(Basically this entire post was just because I wanted to say ‘fanman.’ xD And also because you’re amazing and I love you so much.)
This post was a little rambly, and more of a ‘storytime with Jane’ sort of style, but I hope you don’t mind. Now you know some secret backstory that has never been shared with the world until now. The origin story behind the writer you now see. 😛
What’s your ‘origin story’? Who was your first cheerleader? Did younger-you plan to be a writer or did it just happen? Chat with me!