If you’ve been following along on my posts for the past 2+ months, then you have probably heard me mention that I was writing a book on Wattpad called My Life Plan…Undone. It’s a story of finding yourself or perhaps it would better be described as a story of realizing you don’t need to have found yourself or have it all figured it out by the end of high school. It’s a love story too. I just finished the story yesterday! It’s bittersweet to be done writing something I spent the past 3 months working on. I’m sad to say goodbye to the story, but excited to move on to a new story.
I thought I would give you a little behind the scenes/background on this whole first story of mine. I’ll try not to make this post super long!
First, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I could never bring myself to actually put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write one. I dream up story ideas all the time, but still – never did anything about it. I also thought the idea of trying to get someone to read your story and actually publish you just seemed so daunting. There’s no way that could ever happen for me. The idea of writing a whole novel and then what? Sending it out to publishers or something? I wouldn’t even know how to do that! And it just seemed hopeless.
Now, if you’re a regular around here then you know I write book reviews quite frequently and in the past couple of years I have collaborated with Smith Publicity. They send me books to review – great for an avid reader like me. One of the books they sent me was The QB Bad Boy and Me by Tay Marley. The book came out late last summer, but with my very long tbr list, I didn’t get around to reading it til this past winter. When I read it, I was immediately hooked. I could not get enough and it was one of those books that I never wanted to end. I found out that the book was originally a Wattpad story and it had become so popular on the website/app that it was published. This was so inspiring to me! I had heard of Wattpad over the years, but never looked into it. I had to know more! So I did and this website/app seemed so perfect to me. I could write stories on there and post chapter by chapter. I didn’t have to become overwhelmed with the idea of needing to write an entire novel before anyone could possibly read it. And I wasn’t sure who would even want to read it! But, I could go on Wattpad and write a book – not worry about writing an entire novel before sharing it – and hopefully some people would be interested in what I came up with.
So I made my account and started drafting in a notebook. I decided to go with an easy idea for my first novel. Not that I don’t love this story, I do, but I definitely have more elaborate ideas for future stories. This, I felt, was a good starter story for me. I started writing my ideas and a draft of the prologue in a notebook as well as some notes of what I wanted to happen in the story, quotes that came to mind that I definitely wanted to include, etc. I told some friends about it and some students, who were so excited for me. (Side note: Not all my friends were that supportive, same as with their enthusiasm for my blog. Let’s say they’re not against me doing either one, but they’re the kind of friends who are indifferent, which is not very supportive).
And so began My Life Plan…Undone. I loved the entire process. I loved spending a few evenings a week, listening to music, and writing. I loved re-reading and re-reading and editing and adding details. I loved getting inspiration from songs I would listen to for story detail ideas and even for future story ideas (I have a bunch of ideas floating around in my notebook for future books!).
By the way, this is the first time I’ve made a mood board/aesthetic board for a book (let alone my book! And that’s an actual quote from my book.
So I continued to write and edit and post and write and edit and post and on and on and on for close to 3 months. There were days where I felt discouraged that my story wasn’t going anywhere. While writing, I read some more Wattpad stories (along with all the physical books I’ve been reading), and one of them was The Cell Phone Swap by Lindsey Summers. It was on my reading list on Wattpad for a while. The synopsis looked so interesting and it had over 100 million reads! Like with The QB Bad Boy and Me I was instantly hooked. I loved Lindsey’s writing style and I loved the love story. I learned that The Cell Phone Swap was also published, with some changes, and renamed Textrovert. I got the e-book of that, but haven’t gotten to read it yet to see the differences. Lindsey, like Tay, was an inspiration to me to keep going!
The point of highlighting these 2 amazing writers isn’t just to tell you they inspired me to get out there and write. It’s to also express how happy I am to be a part of (albeit a newcomer) to the writing community. I’ve found support from fellow writers and strangers on Twitter, which is awesome! And because I was so in love with Tay Marley and Lindsey Summer’s books (they’re writing has led me to read more works by them) I reached out to them to just express how much I enjoyed their books and they could not have been more friendly. This could be an entirely separate blog post, but I have found it hard over the years to connect with fellow bloggers on social media. I’ll try to reach out and I might get a response here and there, but it’s usually a one-off and a brush off. But I have found actual conversations with other writers. I have formed virtual friendships with Tay and Lindsey. 2 amazing writers who are both published, have millions of reads, and they take the time to talk to little old me!? I mean, to the point where Tay sent me an advanced copy of her next published book and Lindsey and I are going to be legit pen pals. I’ll forever be grateful for that. I hope that I get to meet both of them in person one day in the future.
Lastly, I have to thank my 3 closest friends for encouraging me to write, for reading my writing, being sounding boards for ideas and looking at drafts. Thank you, I love you, you know who you are! Thank you for not thinking I’m crazy or that me wanting to write is some silly idea.
Before this, I never wrote more than a few pages of fiction for school probably. Now I have finished writing an entire book! 33 chapters, prologue, epilogue, the whole she-bang. My book was ranked #2 under the Identity category for about 2 weeks, which was an exciting accomplishment for me and helped me feel like I was on the right track. As mentioned earlier in the post, it’s bittersweet to be done with this first story of mine, but it’s not goodbye to the characters. I have ideas to revisit them in another story sometime in the future. If you’d like to read my now completed story, you can read it here.
I will be working on starting my new story this week and will let you know when I start posting that one!