I have only a few pages left to read of On Writing by Stephen King. I think I refuse to read the last few pages of this book because, although I am enthralled with King's story of becoming an author, his legacy as such, and his advice on writing itself, I feel like once I finish the book, I will definitely have no excuse to not recognize my own story as an author and to create my very own legacy in writing. Because everyone has a story. Every writer has a story.
When reading about how King became editor of his high school newspaper, The Drum, I thought to myself, "Well, that's cool. Why didn't I think of writing for my high school newspaper?" Stephen King knew he wanted to be a writer and it was obvious by the sort of activities he chose in high school. I began using this as a reason to discredit myself as a writer. King seemed to have a story that coincided with his writing career, and I felt like an imposter, as I normally do.
I allowed myself to feel this way for weeks. For weeks! I believed that King's story differed from my own writer's story, and even though I didn't intend to stop writing, this presumed difference created feelings of deep incompetence. But recently, perhaps under divine inspiration, who knows, I decided to look through my safe-keeps box.
I keep all of my memorabilia of the past in this box: old love letters, awards, photos, postcards, my very first journal. Folded neatly within the keeps, I found an October 2005 issue of the Eagle Edition, my high school newspaper. Almost 25 years later, I'm asking myself why did I keep this newspaper? I flip through the pages, mining for something familiar, and then I see it, an article entitled, Everyone Has a Story written by, none other, than Gabrielle Kelley.
I wrote for my high school newspaper.
I saved this newspaper probably intuitively knowing that I would gravely underestimate and just completely block from my memory my own writing potential, history, and abilities. I wrote for my high school newspaper, just like Stephen King.
And then I started to remember everything. I was not a full-time writer for the Eagle Edition but instead, I was a special contributor; someone who would be requested to write featured articles. Why? Because I didn't have the time to work full-time for the newspaper and also run my own business. Yeah, I had my own business in high school! It was called GMK Designs, and it was a custom jewelry making business. I was featured in the yearbook for this very business!
So, my story is no different from Stephen King's. In fact, my story is the same exact story that I told myself when I was 9 years old: Gabie, you're going to be an author and an entrepreneur. You're going to travel the world and write about your adventures.
Sometimes, I feel like I am so off-track, but when I stop and really take inventory of my life and decisions, I realize that I am actually square on the path that I set out on. The more that I try to convince myself that I am not a writer or an author, the more I am reminded that I am indeed a brilliant and prolific writer and author. I cannot escape this providence.
Everyone has a story. And this is my story: I, Gabrielle Marie Kelley, am a brilliant and prolific writer and author and I have always been.
Do You Have a Writer's Story?