Twelve years ago I started on a journey that many take and few complete.

Twelve years ago, I opened a¬†notebook and stared blankly at those lined pages unsure what to do or what to write. After putting my pencil to paper, and listing ideas down a story started to form and a world began to grow from my words. I created characters that made me laugh, cry, get angry… I learned how to write from writing.

When I put my pen to paper I couldn’t stop. The writing bug had bit me and every moment of every day was consumed by escaping into those lined pages. I spent nights writing to the light of my night-light. I was scolded by my teachers for working on my ‘project’ instead of their assignments.

Writing helped me find people who loved the written word as much as I. Writing gave me teachers that pushed me to do my best and taught me where I could improve. Some of the best advice about life I got from those who taught me to write.

And sure… I had my bad moments with writing as well. I had moments I wanted to give up. There were moments I believed I was never going to be good enough… or would ever have anyone read my story. I was convinced my writing was the worst in the world, and that I was a failure in my craft. There was even a moment in my life that the passion I had as a child died… leaving me staring blankly at the pages with long apathetic sighs. The longer I stared at the pages the more I withdrew… the more it became work…

But somehow in some way it returned to me and here I am writing again.

Twelve years of typos, scratched ideas, sleepless nights, and apathetic sighs. Twelve years of cramped hands, broken pens, spilt coffees, and missing notebooks. Years of lost files, computer crashes, and research…

Twelve years and I can say I did it. All that had work and time I spent writing has finally brought me to this part in my journey. This – of course – isn’t the end of my writing… it is only the beginning but at least I can say something that my 12-year-old self always dreamed of saying.

I – Deanna Wiltshire – have finally published a book.