I grew up caring little about books.
The thought of having to sit down and stare at a bunch of words sounded like the end of the world. Growing up in an environment where I was constantly outdoors, I never understood why people would rather bury themselves in a book than socialise and soak up the radiant weather …
… until I was in the school library forcing myself to find a book I could tolerate for class. My plan was to stare at the pages and make it look like I was reading. However, those first few pages sucked me in.
The Dork Diaries Series was the first step to finding the slightest interest in books. The series was written in diary format, consisting of drawings and comic strips to illustrate the life of the fourteen-year-old protagonist.
Sure, I found the book immature and dramatised, but one of the things that kept me consumed was being able to relate to the characters’ experiences and understand the way they felt.
Before I knew it, I purchased the whole series.
The desire to buy more and more books increased. At the same time, the embarrassment and shame of having people in my life see my passion grew stronger. I saw the judgement on my friends’ faces when they heard I liked to read.
My fourteen-year-old self realised reading books wasn’t something to be ashamed of; a part of me was thrilled that others didn’t like what I liked. This could be something of mine and no one else’s. It felt like my own world that I could delve into whether they liked it or not.
As I grew older, my pile of books rose to new heights and the genres expanded dramatically. I started off with young romance, realistic fiction, and diaries, and later I became drawn to dark romance, sports romance, suspense, and thriller.
I didn’t realise it had become an obsession until every waking thought was about a past or present book – wondering about what would happen next, why my life isn’t as interesting as these books, and waiting for characters that I loved to enter reality and make my life a way better story than sitting on my bed with my imagination. (Obviously that can’t happen, but a girl can dream.)
Now, the haunting question every person experiences in their life emerged: What do you want to do in the future?
I was always able to come up with an answer whether that be a teacher, therapist, illustrator, youth worker, actress or psychologist – all of them had one thing in common: they were all something I thought I would be good at.
Helping others and using my creativity to pursue something has always been a skill of mine I wanted to put into play. However, I was always looking for something else. My past ideas never consumed me and if I wanted to make a career out of something I wanted to fully love it, not just like it.
So, author it was.
English had always been my strongest subject, I lived and breathed writing and reading from the age of fourteen. Everywhere I went, my journals would be attached to my hip, and I’d stick in anything I found in, whether it was a leaf, a bottle wrapper or some branded sticker. It went in those pages and I wrote the hell out of them. My love for storytelling had always existed through drawing or writing, so wanting to be an author made a lot of sense to me.
Once I started sharing my hopes to become an author, people’s eyes started falling out of their sockets and their mouths dropped to the ground. They loved the idea. People who looked at me with doubt and judgement not understanding why I loved to read in the past changed their thoughts, and I found that interesting.
Why all the sudden was it such a good idea? And why did they support the idea of books now?
The increase in people’s support didn’t change how much I wanted it, it did not dictate my love for reading and writing and it did not change my viewpoint on authors. It only made my pathway more clear, seeing as I had people around me who believed I could do it.
I loved being able to empathise with a character, see their personal growth in a whole book and be inspired to create the same feeling. Curiosity took a tug on me, and before I knew it I was researching all about the process of writing a book and what authors did to become successful and how they created these worlds.
A few months later, Work Experience forms were travelling to the whole Year 10 cohort. Some dreaded making a decision and others wanted nothing more than to find a place to work at. There were two reasons work experience was occurring:
I decided instead of trying to land a job, I wanted to find out how to become an Author, and the process of writing a book and the challenges that would come along with it.
Then Busybird Publishing fell right at my feet and I decided to take that further step to figure out whether this career was meant for me.
I owed it to myself.
I’m in the midst of my work experience right now and I can safely say it is definitely an experience I won’t take for granted. Learning how books are created and the ways of editing has been an eye opener.
Seeing the fluffy golden Labrador, Oscar, as soon as I walked into the warm and creative atmosphere definitely confirmed my stay. Oscar definitely made the days brighter and the times at home rough with my young Labrador’s jealousy, but I can say it was definitely worth it.
Thank you, Busybird, for creating a safe and inviting space.