Storytellers in the Making: The Bookstr Team’s Writing Journey

Every writer has a moment in life when they realize that this is what they’re meant to do. Read on to learn about the evolution of Bookstr’s writers!

Book Culture Bookish Lifestyle On Writing
Woman writing a letter on a desk with a coffee, pens, and a book strewn across it.

Every writer has a different motivation for putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!). For some, writing may be an essential emotional outlet; for others, it may be a way to connect with those who share similar interests to them; for others still, writing may be a way to make themselves heard. Whatever your reason for writing, each writer has a unique and special origin story. Today, the Bookstr team is giving you an insight into our personal writing journeys! Keep reading to discover how each of us has cultivated our love for storytelling to become passionate, driven writers.

When I Discovered the Healing Power of Writing

When I was in second grade, my class got an assignment to write a short story about anything we wanted. My grandfather had recently passed away, so without really knowing what I was doing, I started to channel my feelings into the story. At the end of our writing period every day, my teacher would have to pry my notebook from my hands to stop me from furiously scribbling down my story. Most kids in my class only wrote a handful of pages, but my story ended up being over 30 pages long.

Little girl writing in a notebook.

That was the first time I discovered how healing storytelling could be, and it was the moment I knew I wanted to be a writer. Today, writing remains a critical emotional outlet for me. I can’t wait to share my stories with the world one day!

Lauren Nee, Editorial

I’ve Known For as Long as I Can Remember

Ever since I was in kindergarten, I have been obsessed with books. I was at the age of four (when I started school), reading chapter books that were far advanced for my age. When I was seven, I wrote a small little picture book based on a dog named Snowball. My mom still has it tucked away somewhere.

Child's drawing of a boy and a girl surrounded by colored pencils.

I’ve always loved writing, and I was always writing stories in my head. I had folders where I would tuck notebook papers filled with chapters that I had written. I would write during class, I would write outside of school, and I would write whenever I got a chance. I loved it. I would learn grammatical rules from books I read and would adapt my writing to fit those of professional works. I also always excelled at it compared to others my age.

At that time, it was more of a hobby for me, as I didn’t quite understand how much I loved it; I just knew it was a hobby I held dear to my heart. As soon as I was in high school and was looking for colleges, I realized that it wasn’t just a hobby — it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I’ve also always known my destined genre was YA fiction. It’s always been and probably always will be my favorite genre to read and write.

Alexandra Mellott, Editorial

Ever Since the Third Grade

The first story I wrote was for a project in third grade about Bugs Bunny and Lola. I’ve wanted to become a writer since. The creative process from idea to finish is such a chaotic and emotional thing for me. I both love and loathe it. I’m not one for outlining, though it’s certainly something to strive for, but the freedom of starting with an idea and then allowing the words to generate the plot as you write is cathartic.

Little girl writing in a notebook in a classroom.

I have several short stories ready to be submitted for publication and at least five WIP books I hope to complete one day soon. I want to finish them and get them into the hands of readers just like me. To have a piece of myself floating out there in the ether, even if only one person ever reads it, at least I reached one other person with my words.

Kristi Eskew, Editorial

When I Couldn’t Imagine Any Other Path

Woman typing on a laptop.

The summer before my junior year, I looked at freelance writing jobs hoping to earn a little money. I figured I was pretty good at writing, so that was something I could do on my own time. While I never did find a job — everyone wanted a writing degree before hiring a freelancer — I thought about how fun that would be. Then I realized it: I could be a writer. I loved writing and had been doing it since I was six, but that was the first time I actually considered being a writer rather than just writing. That’s what I went to college for as well, and I’ve never regretted it.

Danielle Tomlinson, Editorial

When I Saw My Mom’s Writing

Ever since I was a child, I had all of these ideas and stories in me, but I didn’t understand how to get them out. I just thought stories appeared from nowhere and became books and movies. It wasn’t until I picked up a story and saw the name at the top. It was my mom’s name! Then it hit me: this was how stories were made. My mom has always been my inspiration, and reading her work made me want to be that cool writer with ideas pouring from me that I could put out into the world. Her writing imbued in me such great imagination that I felt like I could fly.

Mom hugging her daughter.

I think this was also when I realized stories came from ideas, from our minds and hearts. My mom also made sure we had access to books and the library. She instilled in us kids the power reading has. I thank her so much for this, and I have to say, and I always say, this is how my writing journey started.

Quiarah B/Vphan, Editorial

It’s an Ongoing Epiphany

Little girl swinging on a swingset.

As a kid, I spent all my afternoons making up stories on my swing. All my stories revolved around the same character — I had an OC before I even knew what that was. I pictured an animated movie around this character and figured that while I waited to get into a position where I could produce an animated movie musical (Disney or otherwise), I could start by writing down the story. I’m pushing 30, and I haven’t let go of my OC. I won’t confidently call myself a writer yet, but this desire to write just won’t go away.

Gabriela Collazo, Editorial

The Power of Inspiration

In university, I shadowed children’s writer Rab Fulton as my third-year work placement. Originally when I signed up, I was very nervous because I did not know what to expect. I signed up for this placement because I knew I loved children’s books and I thought it would be fun to work up close with a professional writer. I had no idea it would redirect me into an entirely new career path.

Podcast setup with a microphone next to a laptop.

While working with Rab, we produced a podcast titled Story-telling for Diverse Communities, where we helped students from a local school design their own professional stories to share with the world. Rab showed me how to write, edit, and even live perform a story as I was helping these students create their own. Though it was hard work at some points, I could not be more grateful for this amazing opportunity. Rab’s teachings were so inspiring for my future work. I was so bummed when I had to finish up my placement, but it honestly was only the beginning of my writing journey. Thank you, Rab, for all your hard work and inspiration!

Erin Ewald, Editorial

Unveiling My Inner Universe

At the tender age of 14, I stumbled headfirst into the magical world of books and never looked back. Page after page, I found myself lost in captivating stories, often sacrificing sleep just to savor every word. However, it wasn’t until I turned 16 that I discovered the bustling universe within my own mind, brimming with untold tales waiting to be unleashed. As an introverted and anxious soul, weaving stories became my sanctuary, a refuge from the relentless whirlwind of my thoughts.

Woman writing in a notebook with a laptop, a cup of coffee, and a book on the table in front of her.

Then came quarantine, a time of chaos and confusion. Amid the turmoil, I sought solace in writing, finding it to be my anchor in the storm. To my surprise, the words flowed effortlessly, capturing the hearts of readers on Wattpad and beyond. Encouraged by the outpouring of love for my stories, I set my sights on a grand dream: to publish my very own book. Every day since, I’ve been diligently nurturing this dream, weaving it into reality, one word at a time.

Trish G., Editorial

Reading With My Dad

As a kid, my dad wanted me not to make the mistakes he made as a kid, which meant making sure I read books often. Once a week during summer vacation, he would take me to the public library, where we picked out a few books for the week. He would always ask the librarians if they had any recommendations for me, and he made sure to grab some of the higher-level reading books to keep me on my toes. He and I would read some of the books together, either because he was interested in them himself or because he thought it would be too tough for me to read alone. Whatever his reason was, I look back on those books fondly because I remember him leaning over my shoulder as I read them aloud.

Dad and son laying on the carpet and reading books.

The first time I ever said a curse word was when we were reading together; I noticed the word and looked at my dad with worried eyes, to which he smiled and told me to say it with my chest. So, I think I wanted to become a writer at some point when I realized I was decent at it, thanks to those hours I spent reading with my old man.

Brandon Smith, Editorial

I Have Always Known

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved reading. This love turned into a passion for writing, even at such a young age. I used to write endless diaries and letters to my friends. Once I turned into a teenager, I started scrapbooking and writing poetry. In high school, I ended up taking an English Honors class where I really got to explore my writing. I got great grades on my papers and realized how much I actually enjoyed writing them. It was then that I decided I wanted to major in English in college so I could continue doing what I truly love.

Woman reading a book on the couch.

In college, I spent my time writing every day. I would go to parties and sit in the corner, observing and typing in my notes app. I recently decided to start a blog and started working for Bookstr to develop more as a writer and maybe even do it professionally instead of just staying in the background. Today, I still write daily and love it more than ever.

Nina Nery, Editorial

Sharing My Inner World Through Writing

I grew up with my head in the clouds. Imagination ran my world, and it might or might not have made me a clumsy kid, but I had fun. I had a peculiar interpretation of the world and wrote about the things I noticed. I think when I was around eight, I wrote about my world and dreams. I would describe the clouds as cotton candy, tiny people living in the stoplights, and every time I left the house, my stuffed animals came to life…yes, Toy Story was real…

Thought bubble with a light bulb inside.

I was pretty creative. I grew up observing a lot from my older sisters. So, I would craft stories in my head, molding the things I learned with my artistic nature. Eventually, I learned to love books and stories and wanted to create something that would spill my little world into the real world. Still working on that part, but I hope to write something great of my own one day.

Alena Baez, Editorial

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