From refusing to read to dreaming of being an author.
When I was young, I suffered from hearing loss. The doctors thought I might just be shy. But my mom insisted something was wrong. I was already 4-years-old, and I wasn’t speaking yet.
Finally, the doctors agreed to check my hearing, and they found that my ears didn’t drain properly. I ended up having 9 surgeries throughout my life to take the hearing tubes in and out.
My older sister, Nicole, had been speaking full sentences since she was young. She excelled in reading and writing, whereas I was far behind my peers in my language development. Teachers continuously suggested my parents put me in specialized learning for reading and writing, but my mom was hopeful that I would grow to enjoy reading words. I was hard to teach, because I dreaded reading.
It all changed for me in second grade, when I was put in Ms. Bell’s class. She gave me personalized attention. She spent extra time teaching me to read and write, and she put gave me headphones to listen to the words while I read.
Most importantly, she believed in me. And she made me believe in myself.
My dad still sends her a Christmas card every year. After graduating college, I walked into the elementary school, and she recognized me immediately. She hugged me tightly.
When I learned how to read and write, I excelled quickly. I finally understood why my dad, mom, and sister were always reading for fun. Soon, I was begging my mom to give me money for every book fair. I spent hours looking at the catalog to carefully choose what books I would buy—my favorites were the Magic Treehouse books. My mom would always bring me to the library, and I would pick out a stack of books, always finishing them all before the return date.
My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Falk, was a published author. One time, she stood in front of our entire grade and flipped through a large three-ring binder. The pages were laminated rejection letters from publishers rejecting her novel.
When she got to the end of her rejection book, she told us to never give up. She got rejected by hundreds of publishers, but it only took one to accept her novel. It was her determination and acceptance of failure that led her to success.
Every day in Mrs. Falk’s class, right after lunch, we sat on the floor and she read to us. After reading, we had an ample amount of time for free-writing. My first completed manuscript was about a mermaid.
After I typed it all up, my novel was about 17 pages total. There were two or three sentences and a huge drawing on each page—I was the artist, too. Taking an educated guess, my drawings were probably awful. I would bet that my writing quality wasn’t great either.
Even so, Mrs. Falk stood in front of our class and flipped through my novel. She announced,”Katie is the first one to finish a full length story. She even typed and illustrated it.” The class stared at my pages in awe. Mrs. Falk said, “We should all be so proud of Katie!”
The class clapped for me—almost as hard as they clapped when I accidentally caught the ball during kickball at the end of that year.
I beamed as she flipped through my mermaid story, and a fire was ignited in me. I wanted to be an author.
I continued to make my own books throughout elementary school. In middle school and high school, I typed romance novels on my laptop. I took honors English classes, and I knew I wanted to major in English in college.
I wanted to see my words in a book ever since I was a child, and in college, that goal of mine came true multiple times. Now I have dreams of continuing to get published in magazines and journals, and eventually, I want to publish a book of mine. I don’t know what genre yet—I think I’ll figure that out as I go along.
This website is a compilation of my published works and a personal blog; it’s a celebration of words, my greatest passion in life.
But did you know there’s a way to set short-term manageable goals? Instead of setting annual goals for yourself, you can set daily goals. As you check the boxes off your to-do list every day, you actually cheat your brain’s rewards center to motivate you to achieve even more goals.
As an employee, you’ve probably experienced this: a breaking point, where you suddenly realize that working 9 AM – 5 PM, staying late consistently, working overtime, and getting more work piled on with no raise is EXHAUSTING. I was there about a month ago. It got to the point that my mental health was suffering. […]
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