Welcome to the November round of Writer’s Reveal! Unfortunately, because Emily Hawker is unable to continue organizing the event, this may also be our last Writers Reveal. So for what could be our closing topic, Melissa of Melissa Writes sent us a prompt centered around publishing.
All writers start somewhere. What is the first ever piece of writing you had published?
Thanks for the prompt, Melissa! Hope you enjoy my take on it!
My First Published Work(s)
What exactly was my first published work? This question is a little tough for me to answer, since it depends on how I would define being “published”. Was it the first piece I wrote that was actually read by someone other than myself? Was it the first story I shared publicly? Or was it the first work of mine that was officially printed? The truth is that I can’t pinpoint one exact piece for any of these cases because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. What I can do, however, is list examples that fit into each of these different categories of “publishing”.
So thinking back on my history as a writer, here are some of what I consider my first published works:
1) School assignments and first books – If being “published” means having any of my work read, then elementary school is definitely where I started. Though I wrote frequently as a child, most of the pieces that made it to readers were the result of narrative assignments for composition classes. One of my favorites was a handcrafted book titled “My Pet”, a first-person narrative told by a girl who owned a pet dolphin. Other works included short stories that were usually only read by my teachers and my parents, several of which are still somewhere in my mom’s archive of our childhood memories. And of course, there was my first attempt at writing a novel when I was ten. Even if those stories weren’t that good, it’s touching to know I’ve had my family’s support from the very beginning, so in terms of having my work read and enjoyed, I’d say I’ve been successful.
2) Fanfiction and online poetry – If being “published” means getting my work out to people who don’t know me personally, then my first published works were probably video game fanfiction stories I shared online. Silly as it may sound, these were essential in my development as a writer because all the positive feedback I received from strangers really helped boost my confidence in my talent. My favorite pieces among these were two novel-length stories set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe: “Generation Beta“, my first publicly available story over 50,000 words long (and which, after five years, still gets hundreds of hits a month); and “Chaos and Control“, the story on which I’ve worked the hardest in my life and which has become the model for the original novels I plan to publish in the future. Around the same time I was writing fanfiction, I also used to post some of my poems on DeviantART, some of which have since been reposted here on my blog. They may not be printed in any “official” media, but if people out there are reading my stories and poetry, I already consider myself a published writer.
3) College thesis and Reader’s Carnival submission – If being “published” means having my work available in print, then my first real publication was my undergraduate thesis. This was also the first non-fiction work of mine that was made publicly available. It’s not exactly what I imagined my first book would be, but the thesis about West Atlantic reef fish evolution sitting on my shelf is still something to be proud of. As for a creative piece, I have a sonnet published in the October issue of Reader’s Carnival, which just went into print this month, so that’s something to be excited about too! It may not seem like much now, but hopefully these will prove to be stepping stones to a whole career of my printed works!
These are just some examples of what I would consider to be my first published works. There have been many “firsts” throughout my writing history, but they’ve all played an important role in my growth as a writer, and for that I value every single one. Here’s to many more publications to come! Thanks for reading!
What was your first published work? How would you define being “published”?
This has been a special topic post for Writers Reveal, a monthly blog swap among several talented writers. Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the event. Thanks for reading!
Other bloggers in Writers Reveal
Melissa Khalinsky: Melissa Writes
Becky Fyfe: Imagine! Create! Write!
Ashley Howland: Ghostnapped
Emily Hawker: You Learn Something New Every Day
Lee-Anne Walker: Is it just me?