Most people have that defining moment in their lives. You know, the one that shapes how the rest of your life may go. For a few, that defining moment, the one that shapes their lives forever, is when they realize what they want to do for the rest of their life, otherwise known as "what they want to be when they grow up". Most of the time, this does not happen to children. But a few, the lucky ones, in my opinion, know what they want to be from the beginning.

The first time I tried writing was in first grade. Mrs. Gasper, an old, grey-haired woman even then, gave us all some pieces of paper with lines on one side and drawing space on the other, bound together by a piece of construction paper and staples. These were our first-grade journals, where we would take the stories in our head and our writing skills from kindergarten and make…something.

Usually, I wrote about the previous day's events: The babysitter taking my siblings and me to Densow's Pharmacy for ice cream. The mysterious concrete cylinders that showed up at Roberdeau (now Rodney Block) Park. Nearly starting a fire baking cookies in my Easy Bake Oven. Having a panic attack when I lost Lamb Bear under the stroller and my grandma having to find her before the Charlie Brown Christmas special came on. I kept every single journal, not because they are "good" writing, but because they showcase my first ever attempts at what would later become my passion and obsession.

Sixth grade, in my mind, was the second most important year in my writing career, behind first grade when I started writing creatively. In writer's workshop, my favorite part of language arts, I managed to produce several bad poems, a narrative about a trip to Multnomah Falls, and my first ever attempt at writing a novel. The novel was called Lucky. It told the story of a dog named Lucky who was found and adopted by me. Towards the end of the story, Lucky got teleported to another realm called Fairy Town, met a magical mouse named Zipa, and became the savior of Fairy Town by defeating an evil shape-shifting wizard named Midnight. I wrote several other attempts at novels throughout middle school, including the fanfiction I wrote about the Warriors Series in seventh grade, the story about a mouse named Ruby in eighth grade, and the vampire story based on Twilight in eighth grade.

It wasn't until sophomore year that I was able to write anything that I felt was good enough to publish. What started out as a few short stories, one loosely based upon a book read to us by my eighth-grade language arts teacher, has now become what I can proudly call a novel. My Name is Renesmee (the Second), the story of a young girl who starts finding letters from a mysterious "friend" everywhere she goes. It still needs a lot of work, but eventually, it will become my first officially published piece. [Note from the author, this was my first proper attempt at what is now The Blood & Roses Series.]

I know I have come a long way from my first time writing. I used to write too little, now I write too much. I used to be full of spelling mistakes, now I correct other people in their spelling and grammar. I have explored multiple different genres and types of writing, from the kind we do in school to emotional poetry; from my own novels to sell, to fanfiction for online readers. There are many different types and genres of writing and I hope to at least make an attempt in all of them someday. My first time writing is something that has forever changed me. I wouldn't be who I am today without writing.