Today officially became one of the most important days in my life, because today, I have officially written a novel!
This is the first draft only, yes, but it's an accomplishment so big it hasn't really hit me yet.
I've been writing since I can remember - first for school, where I'd always get an A for a story I'd written, and then in my spare time. The first thing I tried to write was a mystery novel when I was twelve (it didn't quite work out lol), but that only spiked my interest in writing. Although it wasn't until the beginning of 2009, when I first saw Twilight. Yes, it was one of those obssessions - I went and picked up the book a day after I'd seen the movie, and I devoured it. And that is when I really realized, when I really knew, that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.
It has taken me a little over four years, but it has finally happened! I started writing The Bucket List on March 15th this year, but it wasn't 'for real'. I had only scribbled some scenes here and there - the school year was still nowhere close to ending, and I had to put all my focus into it. (Not that it has stopped me from writing, I must admit).
But then, on the second day of July, I was finally finished with school, and had two months to put all my time into writing this book and not doing much besides. And I did it.
I sat down every day, whether it was in front of my laptop or my notebook where I wrote by hand. I wrote. And each day brought something more into the story, each day I thoughts of a new twist, new character, new scene.
I won't lie to you. It wasn't easy.
Especially in the last ten days, as I began approaching the end - I was struck by this huge writer's block, and thought that every word I had written was crap. And you know what? Yeah, maybe some of it isn't the best thing ever written, surely it is not, but I pushed and pushed myself, until today, when I finally put two simple words, so poweful and important, on the blank page.
You can't really imagine what has gone through my mind these past month and a half - I'm sixteen, at the age where I should be partying and having fun and dating and trying to be as popular as I can. But I chose differently: I chose to be a book lover, I chose to be a passionate reader and writer. I chose to give in to my imagination, because there is nothing more powerful in this world than written word. Yes, I have suffered because of it - I will be honest, books have taken over my life; ever since I enrolled high-school two years ago, my grades have dropped horribly, I'm pretty sure a lot of people think I'm weird, and I have never kissed a boy, haven't even gotten close to it. Most of the things that are in my novel are purely based on my imagination. And, sure, it makes me sad sometimes, it makes me wonder why aren't the stars aligning already?
But you know what?
If there is anything books have thought me, it's that there's always something to believe in. Something to fight for. Something to hope for.
And I do. I believe that one day soon, love will track me down and overwhelm me, I know that one day I will be happy and in love and that everything will work out fine, because it has so far.
Also, I learned that imagination is stronger than despair, stronger than saddness.
There's something else good that came out of this all: the people.
There is so, so many good people I've met because of books. I'm in a book club with a bunch of awesome girls, who are always there for me and always supportive; I have connected with so many readers and authors who have always been quick to help me and cheer me on. And I don't think I will ever be able to thank someone somewhere enough, never be able to express my gratitude.
The truth is, books connect you. Books fulfill you. Books make you leave your world for a few hours, a few pages, and indulge in this other life, where you can literally do anything you want.
So, what I'm trying to say is, whether you're ten or thirty or seventy, if you want to write, write. If you want to read, read. Don't let anyone tell you vampires or fairies or magic aren't real, because they are. Only if you choose to believe it.
Because after writing a novel, I feel strong. I feel fulfilled. On top of the world.
Yes, there is a long journey ahead of me - there are edits, stress, rejections, hopes to get published, and there will be days that I will feel like it's all become too much and will want to just let it all go, but I know I will get through it.
Because to me, nothing can compare to the feeling of knowing that you are good and successful at what you do.
So read. Write. And never stop believing.