My Writing Journey
*Guest Blog today by Lauren Narducci
Ever since I can remember, I have had a pen in my hand. I would write and write and write, until my hands cramped, and the room grew dark. I was always writing, and always imagining. Recently, I stumbled across the many notebooks I had filled when I was younger shoved in a box in my closet. Written in those crumpled notebooks were pages full of short stories that had gone unfinished.
After a while, I dropped that pen and did not pick it up again until senior year of high school. That school year, my creative writing class came soon after a favorite teacher of mine died. Writing was an outlet for me, a way to let go of the thoughts entangled in my brain; so I saw this class as a way to cope. My writing was dark, and filled with death. Many of my classmates started worrying and began asking questions. I told them I had lost someone I loved, they nodded their heads and that was all that was said. The end of the semester approached and after editing and editing and editing, I turned in my final story to my portfolio. When grades came back, I was surprised at my teacher’s comments about the story.
“Lauren, this story is sooo good. Keep working on it. There’s a book here, your essay nails it. This work really shows your growth. Publish this.” When I saw his comment telling me to publish my story, I brushed it off, and stuck the story and my portfolio in my closet.
The next spring, I was enrolled in English Composition 1 at Metro Community College, with David Martin. It was hard to get through the first couple days of class because he is pretty tough the first week or so. After we turned in our rough draft for our first paper, he called me over and sat me down at his desk. I remember it clear as day; he looked at me and said, “You are a writer.” I had always been told I am a good writer, but something about the way he said it resonated with me.
As the weeks went on, Mr. Martin repeatedly gave me pamphlets and flyers for Fine Lines, and told me to publish something I had written. I smiled and nodded, but inside I knew I wasn’t ready for prime time. I wasn’t ready to get my writing out there, because my writing was personal; even if it was fiction. I didn’t want to expose my outlet to the world.
Taking the Plunge
In May 2013, after days of thinking, I finally decided to submit my writing to Fine Lines. The writing I would submit was the story I had written in my creative writing class. What did I have to lose, right? I had no idea how long it took to decide and edit the submissions to Fine Lines, so I just assumed I never made it in. Well, that August, I got an email from Mr. Martin with the names of those who were published in the summer issue; there in the middle of the list was my name. I sat there for a few minutes and then it hit me; I’m going to be published in a book. This had been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. It finally happened, and it’s all because of the encouragement from others and from the courage I had myself, to do it.
Writing is hard, but deciding to get that writing published and shown to the world is even harder.
Dive into Publication
Publishing your work is like diving off a cliff, scary at first, but in the end it’s a story you can tell for years to come; literally. Writing is a gift, something that took me years to figure out that I had been blessed with.
If you have the ability to write well, take the chance and put yourself out there. It doesn’t have to be a personal autobiography, or anything that might make you uncomfortable, or maybe it can. In fact, do try to do publish something that makes you uncomfortable. It exercises that muscle we have for putting ourselves out there, and it makes us stronger, and better writers.
There are so many people that dream of having their work published but don’t get the chance to do so. Fine Lines changed my life, it helped me realize I am blessed with the gift to write, and I should show that gift off. Getting my work published has given me so many opportunities to grow, and to expand my horizons.
Don’t sell yourself short, use your writing to change the world, and most importantly, to change yourself. You are worth the chance.
You too can submit to Fine Lines, follow the Guidelines here.
Bio: Lauren Narducci is a student at Metro Community College, working toward an Associate’s in Photography with plans to attend UNO in order to pursue a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree in creative
writing. She is also launching a local chapter in Omaha for the women’s organization, I AM THAT GIRL, which promotes a healthy body image and meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7-9, in the Whole Foods “Kitchen.” And you can check out her photography here.