Saturday, June 16, 2012

How I Started Writing . . .

Hello, everyone! As you all know, my name is Katelyn, though I go by many other names/nicknames. We'll just stick with Katelyn, Kate, Kataleen, or Katie. Any of them will do.

I'm a thirteen year old writer, in 9th grade, and a Christian. And this is the story (It's a very long story, but if you read fast, it shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes.) of how I decided to write . . . .

Let's be bold, Christians aren't exactly popular. Throw that in with quiet, book-ish, homeschooled, and a little shy towards certain people, and you've got a recipe for being unnoticed and shunned. And I went on that way, for years. Until one day, that life-changing day, on my 11th birthday, when my mother set me up a Facebook account.

Sure, I had been on the internet before. I did school on the internet! I had my own email account. I'd had a cell phone a year before that, until it broke (I'll be honest, I'm never good at keeping up with cell phones and their endless cords. I tend to lose/break one or the other.). But I never really socialized outside of my family/church. I had been a bit too timid to. Nevertheless, I joined, forbidden by my parents to add anyone to my friends list other than family, or to add a profile picture. They said the internet was dangerous (And yes, they are completely right) and adding those things would heighten my chances of something happening.

This was all before I decided to become a writer. I have been writing my whole life, but nothing too serious. Just short stories for school, an occasional story for my mom, to show her how much I loved her. But I'm babbling about random things now. Back to my story.

I was still timid, even after joining Facebook. So many people, so many things that you could do there. But what could I do? My grammar was horrible. I had never really cared much for English. My punctuation was even worse. I was bored one evening, and decided to write a story. But it was a children's story. I got bored quickly, and tossed that one to the curb. I decided story writing was not my thing. About a month later, my family and I couldn't go to church. We had no gas. I was upset. I loved church. And I had recently bought two notebooks to take notes in. I yanked one of the notebooks from my closet, grabbed a pen, and thought to myself, "We won't be able to go to church anyway. Why have two notebooks for church notes when you're not even going to use them?"

So I decided to start writing a story. I had no plot, no characters, no setting, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just one teeny, tiny idea about a pirate and a diamond heiress. I didn't even know how to write a book. I thought it'd be easy. I mean, all you have to do is write a bunch of chapters and then have it published, right? WRONG!

But I didn't know then what I know now. So I just scribbled some scenes--they were pretty pathetic, I admit--this time it was a Christian romance. I now realize that that is what I have a passion for. Not just YA Fiction. I wanted to write Christian Romance. No, I needed to write CR. My first title for it was "A Match Made in Paradise". But I thought it too cheesy. And I wasn't sure what time period it would be. I decided to make it "Pirates, Treasure, and God". Pretty terrible, huh? Go ahead, I know you flinched when you read that. I know that I facepalm, thinking about it.

Anyway, I began to seek help--and approval--in all the wrong places. One of the only groups I was a member of, on Facebook, was a reader's group. We discussed books from a particular author. I asked them for advice. I wish I hadn't been so stupid. But I am thankful to one lady in the group who took pity on me. She read a few of my chapters, set me straight, so to speak. By that time, I was teaching myself proper grammar and punctuation. Trust me, it was hard. I read a lot of books (That was the upside), trying to figure out the difference between "they're", "their", "there" and the "your" and "you're". I memorized the spelling of big words, making sure I didn't forget them. I studied harder in English. And I did my research on writing and publishing.
But I still wondered. Could teens actually write? Could they get published? How? When? Where? One day, these questions overwhelmed me, and I googled it. And found the blog that saved my life. Well, my writing's life, at least.

Go Teen Writers.

I googled "groups for teen writers". And up popped "Go Teen Writers". I clicked on it, thinking, "This might help me." I skimmed through the words, and decided to follow the blog. Then I found out they had a Facebook group. I thought, "Cool! I can follow easier now!" When I was accepted into the group, I was immediately welcomed. They treated me like . . . . well, family. And, for once, I found the place I belonged. I found like-minded people who wanted to write and wanted to help others. We asked questions, gave advice, vented about our stories, and so much more! I slowly came out of my shell. I was no longer timid. I was ready to give my opinion,  stand up for my beliefs, and defend myself to anyone who felt as if they could beat me in an argument.

While on the GTW group, I met three very fantastic girls. Becki, Emily, and Lindsey. They pushed me in my writing journey, and we became best friends after no time at all. We realized we were all insane. And hilarious. We started a group, just for us. The Fearsome Foursome. (Click here to go to the blog) And once again, I felt as if I belonged somewhere at last.

So, that's most of my story. I'm still working on that novel, and not too long again it went under intensive re-write. It's entitled, "Endangered" and is book 1 of "The Imperiled Hearts" series. It has a plot, I have great characters, and a villain. It's no longer about a pirate, but I think there might be a pirate attack scene. I have grown with this book. The characters have grown. And I'm happy.

Thank you for reading. If you have anything you'd like to say, go ahead and comment below. I'd love to hear what you're thinking.

God bless!
Galatians 6:9 KJV


  1. Whoa, that's great. I'm so glad you found your place :D *applause* Good luck and God bless in your future endeavours!

    ~Micah (from Go Teen Writers)

  2. Haha . . . Stephanie Morrill is amazing. I might never have met my best friends if it hadn't been for her. ^_^

    I never realized just how hard it was for you to write. I've never had trouble in English, so it's strange for me to think that there are people, including my brother, who struggle with it. On the other hand, my math is atrocious. I can do arithmetic, and simple algebra, but that's about it. :/

    1. She is. I'm really glad she cares enough about teens to have a blog like hers. And she has to deal with our petty arguments whenever one breaks out. Yeah, she's pretty incredible. :D

      And I get that. I have a hard time believing that I ever had a problem with grammar and such. It was confusing to me at first, but then I start dissecting words and it made sense. ^_^ Don't feel bad about math. I can't even get past Pre-algebra. >_<

  3. Wow. I never took any curriculum's in grammar or spelling, I guess I just picked it up, because whenever I needed to know something, I would ask Mother, who knows everything.

    1. My aunt was a writer before me. So whenever I wondered something, I'd ask her. But I never really thought I'd need proper grammar/English, so I rarely asked. It just seemed, to me at the time, like another useless subject.

  4. As a youth pastor I say, "You go girl!" Keep us informed about your publishing endeavors!