I don’t do confessions often but when I do, I go all out. For the last year, I’ve been doing this ‘experiment,’ if you will. I’ve started a journey I had no idea was going to change my life so drastically.
So, let’s start at the beginning.
A year ago, I had a falling out with my best friends. I lost everybody I loved. I had no friends, at the time my mom abandoned me and my siblings and I dropped out of high school for the year.
I hit rock bottom. All I had left were my books and the dream of being an author. I didn’t know what to do but read. It helped me. A lot. I started doing booktube videos, reviewing books, filming book hauls and stuff. It was a perfect distraction from the mess my life was.
The summer of the year 2014 was enlightening for me. I got to find out who I was again. I bought more books because I found out they’re what I’m passionate about. I love putting my ideas into words and reading other’s books is like finding out their ideas. It’s like looking into their soul. At the time, I wasn’t aware of that like I am today.
I made an account on Wattpad, finally deciding I needed to do this. If I wanted to become an author and follow my dreams, I needed to start somewhere and the earlier the better.
Let me tell you, I was so nervous. I didn’t believe in myself and I didn’t believe anyone would read my books. And that was okay, I guess. At the end of the day, I was writing for myself, not for others. See, writing is a great way to get your emotions, your anger, your hurt and everything negative out. But you can do it with a spin, give the readers a moral of the story so they learn something from it.
It’s funny. I never knew what to do in real life, how to react to a certain situation and when I wrote it into my book, I suddenly realized what I had to do. What the right thing to do would be. As a writer, you need to be like an actor and get into your fictional character’s head. You need to be them. And being in someone else’s head instead of yours is somewhat freeing.
When September came, I repeated the year in a new high school. And I met new people. People who, to this day, still believe in me, support me and love me the same way I love them. They are the best friends I have ever met. Each of them as special and unique as the other.
In September, I haven’t published my book yet. I did that in November I think. But at the time, I had started writing it and I was happy about it. I was happy to have something to do at home.
Let’s skip October 2014 and get to November. November was a special month for me. I had about 10 chapters written because I stopped writing. I needed people to encourage me. So, I decided to make myself a cover and a summary of the book. Then I published the first chapter.
With the first few chapters came new comments and new people supporting me. I wasn’t aware that this was just the beginning. I was just a kid with self-esteem issues. I was so insecure and hoped people wouldn’t hate on me because at the time, I couldn’t take anything bad.
But the more I updated, the more comments I got. I remember how excited I was to tell my friends at school that I got 1000 reads on my book. Oh my Gods, it was like a miracle. And then the reads kept coming! People kept sending me messages, fan mail, they followed me and they told me their experiences. I knew it was hard for them as it was hard for me and all I wanted to do is be there for them because I know what it feels like when you have no one.
Back then yes, writing helped me a lot but I’ve also been dealing with consequences my previous high school left me which was basically an emotional scarring. If any of them were reading this, they wouldn’t get it and think I am being over-dramatic which I might be. But the thing is, I felt like every bad feeling was a thousand times stronger than a good one.
Then came New Years. I was happy. If you count sitting on your bed, surrounded by tissues, watching a movie, being alone as happy. At the time, I stopped talking to a person who was for 2 years very dear to me. But I survived. I was determined to have many new years resolutions, which you know never turn out okay.
Before I tell you about that but, here’s my list:
- Finish writing a book
- Write a new book
- Get to #1 in Teen Fiction (that one was a little bit far-fetched)
- Get to 1M reads (a goal which I thought I knew wouldn’t come true in years)
- Get to 1K followers on Wattpad
- Listen to people who need to talk to someone
In February 2014 I finished writing My Badboy Neighbour. I ended it the way my school year ended last year. With me leaving. While I was writing My Badboy Neighbour, I started writing Playing Against the Player for NaNoWriMo on Wattpad and I managed to write 50K words in 30 days. After that then I started writing My Badgirl Roommate, a sequel to My Badboy Neighbour. It was about the main character attending a new school and dealing with every that has happened in her past. Only the ending was one I wanted to have. I wanted to get closure but even now I know I can’t.
I’m scared. If whoever’s reading this ever tells anyone I said that, I’ll deny it. I’m never scared or at least I never admit it but that part of my life is so over I’m not brave enough to try to bring it back to life. I don’t want to talk to people, my ex-best friends and I don’t want to open old wounds. But living with this big burden I have, it’s not healthy for me or anyone.
Anyway, let’s skip forward. I got 1K followers. I freaked out when I had 10, but 1000 followers is … really incredible. Then 1 million reads followed and I was so surprised! I remember telling my best friends I had 20 thousand reads but 1 million?! I wouldn’t have dared to even dream about getting that far.
To celebrate, I took my friends out for a pizza. It was the best time of my life.
Not everyone on Wattpad gets that far and to believe I got… it’s just surreal, okay?
So, by now I have finished:
- My Badboy Neighbour
- My Badgirl Roommate
- My Badboy Neighbour: Collection of Extras
- Playing Against the Player
And I’m currently writing Playing Against the Sister and What Happened To Spring?
I was proud of my accomplishments but what shocked every living thing out of me was that on July 29, 2015 my book was number 1 in Teen Fiction!!!!!!!
Oh gosh, I cried. I cried and felt like my hard work has paid off. Everything has paid off. It’s finally time for me to really feel happy and to start believing in myself.
Because at the beginning of this school year people of my school found out about my Booktube, I deleted my videos because they made fun of me. Now, I kind of regret it because just like writing, it was something I did for myself and not for them.
When summer came, I started filming videos again and it was really empowering. I got much more confidence and right now, I don’t care what people might think of me. I used to care when it came to Wattpad, but I know all I have to do is give it time. And when I have thousands of subscribers and they have none, I’ll be the one laughing.
I mean, I got so far on Wattpad, who’s to say I won’t get far on Youtube? They can mock me and humiliate me, they can tell me I’m ugly or can make fun of my accent but I don’t care. Not anymore.
I spent my whole life worrying about what other people might think and now I don’t anymore. And it’s all thanks to Wattpad. To people there, to books, to me.
At the end of the day, I’ve got to thank myself. If I didn’t hit rock-bottom, I wouldn’t be here. One has to fall apart in order to pull himself together.
I did just that. I fell apart and it felt like somebody pulling the rug beneath your feet or it felt like jumping off the cliff. The landing was hard but the come-back I made was heavenly.
If you’re still reading this, all I want to tell you is don’t stop dreaming because when you stop dreaming, you stop living. Don’t be afraid to be successful, don’t underestimate yourself. Go catch your dreams before they get away.
And trust me, if you think your life is super bad now, just wait a year because it’ll do you good, trust me.
A year ago, I was no one. Now, I’m me.
It’s all about perception and how you see yourself.