I have been writing since I was young…very young. My mother sent me a bunch of papers that included my very first story from 1st or 2nd grade written in bad script on enormous lined paper. It’s not great – it’s not even good. But it was writing that I clearly was not afraid to express. In that same file are other stories. Some are handwritten, while others are printed in dot matrix. And then…there’s nothing.

About the time I went to college, I became very self conscious of any creative outlet. I played piano since I was three years old, yet I was too afraid to try and get into the School of Music with others. I sang in choruses all of my life, yet I was too afraid to audition for the university choral society. And my writing – well, I gave up on it. I stopped writing creatively all together.

Instead, I became an English major focusing on literature. I read and have read numerous authors and their works. I write papers on what they wrote. I study literature. But I never considered whether or not I could add my own words to the compendium. I became a high school English teacher, and worked hard to do so. I taught many high school students before returning to university to earn my Master’s degree in literature. I love teaching, and I love my students. However, I spent much more time grading writing than doing any actual writing myself.

I am at a crossroads right now. Things in teaching seem to be at a stalemate. I can continue doing it, but the joy is gone – especially teaching out-of-context freshman comp. To teach what I would like means pursuing a PhD. I have the dream and desire to become a full-time novelist, but that fear that rooted itself when embracing adult fears and stomping on my youthful arrogance blooms like a nasty weed.

So here I am with ideas galore and no finished written project. I invite you to follow my journey in breaking down some rock solid fear barriers and actually write my first novel. I do not promise a trip from A to B. There will be many zigs and zags along the way. But wherever I go, you are welcome to watch, comment, and knock me upside the proverbial noggin. And in the end, hopefully you will see me embrace my creative side and partake in the fruit that I create. Cheers, Jenn Falls