My Writing Journey: Part 1-The Beginning
Updated: Mar 11
As I get closer to being able to call myself a published author, I want to explore how I came to the decision to write a book. Most people want to write a book, and in my profession, it’s fairly common. Therapists are typically known to write self-help, textbooks, books on clinical subjects, and journals. Fiction, however, is rarer. In future posts, I’ll dig into why I chose the fiction genre for my book, but for now let’s take a look back on how I started writing.
While I initially felt like writing a book was a new venture for me, the process made me realize that I’ve been into storytelling and writing for most of my life. The first stories that made me aware of how much I enjoyed characters, plot twists, and the feeling of putting myself into someone else’s shoes were those from the anime shows I became obsessed with as a kid (and still am). DragonBall Z was an early favorite, and like any kid who watched the show, I wanted to fly and be able to shoot energy blasts from my hands. I collected action figures of my favorite characters and would reenact massive battles all across my house. I remember though, always adding a little bit of my own stories into what I was recreating from the screen. Anime is known for its characters with over-the-top displays of emotion who overcome any obstacle in front of them, and I leaned into those tropes when imagining dramatic stories for my action figures.
This pattern continued with another hobby of mine when I was younger—drawing. Again, like many anime fans, I would draw my favorite characters, trying my best to mimic the styles of their creators. When I realized I wasn’t too good at that, I decided to create my own. My attention to these characters’ designs went beyond just how they looked; I always gave them some sort of backstory. Ensembles of characters would have different roles in a broader narrative that stayed in my mind as I drew them, nothing being written down in story form at that point. Here are a couple of my best drawings from my teenage years:
I don’t remember this character’s story, but clearly, I thought fishing required strong abs.
I think this was a Naruto knockoff. Whoever he was, he was dangerously close to popping a blood vessel.
From there, some actual writing did happen over the years. In middle school, I can remember writing a couple short stories and creating one issue of a comic book after seeing one that a friend had made. I later enjoyed an essay writing class I took in high school, but I think that as writing became more strongly associated with school work, my interest in it waned. Word and page count requirements took the creative freedom out of it. I was the college student who when given an assignment to write a 1000-word minimum essay, would intentionally write 999 words to prove I could fit the necessary content in a shorter form. I know, I sound like fun.
As an adult, I’ve written outlines for stories and even dabbled in some poetry, but my writing has been kept to myself. So, what made me decide to write a whole book? That people are going to actually see and read (buy!)? In my next post, I’ll talk about how the events of the now legendary year of 2020 sparked the motivation I needed to finally write something for eyes other than my own.