The Voiceprint Project: My Story

Hello, wonderful people! As we are two weeks out from The Voiceprint Project officially kicking off on Twitter and otherwise, I wanted to share a few more details about my story as a young writer. This project will be an opportunity for people such as myself to share stories similar to the one I am about to tell. For those reading this who might be new to my blog, check out my original post about The Voiceprint Project here.

I want to talk about one of the central points of this project in relation to myself: how I realized, even at my age, that I want to be a writer.

When I was about six years old, I created a list of things that I wanted to be when I grew up– simultaneously, as in I wanted to do all of these jobs at the same time. I cannot recall exactly everything that was on that list, but I know that there were a lot of different things and many of them were very hard to accomplish or impossible. Among them were the following: an astronaut, a famous singer, a fashion designer, a dancer, a composer, and of course, as I was a six-year-old girl immersed in Disney movies and fairytales, a princess. What I know for sure is that a writer was never on that list, and didn’t even cross my mind as a possible path for my life until about a year and a half ago.

I’ve always been a writer, but I never formally classified myself as one until then. When I was about the age at which I comprised the list of jobs, I also wrote short stories. They still aren’t finished, because I would handwrite two pages and then get tired of it, but they were short stories nonetheless. The most prominent one that comes to mind was an attempted novel called Wish about the fearless Charlotte, her younger (and irresistibly adorable) brother Austin, and the adventure they went on when they discovered that there was a mermaid named Pearl living in the town pool. I never actually got to write about Pearl or anything they did with her… I got to the part where Austin bangs on Charlotte’s door one summer morning declaring that “we’re going to the pool” and she “had better get dressed”. I had big plans for Pearl and the siblings; they were going to go on a magical adventure through the sea, counter the evil mermaid Storm, and go on a quest to save Pearl’s life. It was, obviously, geared towards kids around the age I was when I got the idea for it, and maybe I’ll pick it up again one day. But even at that point in my youth, I didn’t realize that I wanted to be a writer.

Fast-forward about five years or so. I started writing other things, short stories about characters from movies, TV shows, and video games I enjoyed. I realized that I liked to write, that this was something I enjoyed spending my free time doing.

Then came the magic moment– in January of 2014, inspiration struck me in a way it had never before. We had made multitudes of paper cranes in my eighth-grade English class for a community project. They were everywhere– in the classrooms, in desks, in cubbies, on the floor. One day, I went to open my locker and one flew out, and from that little piece of origami came the inspiration for my first novel. That summer, I started writing to be heard; I started writing for others, not just for myself. And now I know that it’s what I want to do.

So now, to other young writers: I’d love to know your stories. Let’s spread our ideas and voices together. Give me a shout on Twitter or leave me a comment below.

Two weeks! #TheVoiceprintProject

 

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Announcing The Voiceprint Project

voice • print (noun)

an individually distinctive pattern of certain voice characteristics

 

“A voiceprint is a set of measurable characteristics of a human voice that uniquely identifies an individual.” (from WhatIs.com)

This past autumn, I went to my first writing conference. I had no idea what to expect. I’d never been to any formal, organized gathering of other writers before, and certainly hadn’t been exposed to real, live people in the publishing industry. It all seemed pretty scary to me, but I was determined to go, despite the fact that I knew I would likely be the only person there under the age of eighteen.

So on November 14th, I went into Boston and was dropped off at the hotel where it was being held. If you’ve been to a writing conference before, you probably know what I’m talking about when I say that I was both excited and terrified at the same time. Once the day began, however, it was not nearly as daunting as I expected it to be. I vigorously took notes (seriously– I wrote down almost everything from the talks, just so I would remember it) and practiced my pitch just about every free second I had. I had the privilege of pitching Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency while I was there– and side note– she’s a super nice person and you should definitely check her out online. She’s been involved in creating some really fantastic tools for writers in the publishing process, too– you have no idea how much time I’ve spent scrolling the #MSWL hashtag and how much it’s helped me throughout my querying process.

During the pitch session, Ms. Sinsheimer mentioned to me (after I told her that I’m fifteen) that she had been seeing a lot more younger writers like myself seeking publication. She went on to say that she thought it would be cool if there were a way to connect those young writers via social media. And I loved this idea, which leads me to why I’m making this post about it now. After leaving the conference, I did some brainstorming, and continued to do so for several months, which led to the development of the idea and the writing of this post.

Now there’s a name for it. I’m starting The Voiceprint Project. This is an initiative I’m taking to try and connect young writers online, encourage the spread of our ideas and stories of our experiences, and of course, talk about writing. The reason I’m calling it ‘voiceprint’ is because I believe that all writers of all types have a unique voice, their own groundbreaking ideas, and a story to tell, and no one should be left out from that even if they’re young like I am. We all ultimately have the same goal in the writing community– for our work to be read and to spread our message through writing. Yes, I’m only fifteen, but I was just as serious about being at that writing conference in November as any other person in the room, and I believe that the writing world is one of the few places where it doesn’t matter how old you are. The thing that really matters is that you have a story you want to tell.

I invite any young or student writers, both published and unpublished, to join me in a Twitter party on May 6th to kick off the project. We’ll meet new people, talk about our experiences, and share our thoughts on just about anything to do with writing and the publishing process. If you know a young writer, spread the word!

I’ll be updating on this site and on my Twitter (@oldpbfan21) about the project as it takes shape and May 6th comes closer.

#TheVoiceprintProject

Welcome!

Hello, whoever might be reading this! I’m Madison, and this is my formal welcome to my blog.

Since this is my first post, I want to introduce myself and lay out what I’m going to use this website for. I’m an aspiring author, among other things, and I have been attempting to get published since I finished writing my first novel in 2014. And although I’m not published yet, the experiences I’ve had over the past year have taught me so much about myself and brought out the best parts of me. As any other writer seeking publication would know, the road to the goal is full of obstacles– but those obstacles have bettered me; they have made me resilient, perseverant, and all the more determined to achieve my goal.

I’m starting this blog because I want to spread my ideas about writing, the themes in the three novels I’ve written so far, and my experiences, lessons, and thoughts over the course of my publishing process. I write young adult fiction, and consider myself to be a young adult as I am fifteen years old. Therefore, I am also going to be sharing my perspective as a young person going through the process surrounded by many adults with the same goal as I have. Part of my initiative in starting a blog is to connect myself with other young aspiring authors. In going through this process, I have learned something very valuable– you are never too young to start following your dreams.

I will confess that this is the first website I have ever run or posted on, so this is going to be an adventure. Luckily, I’ve always enjoyed adventures. I’m excited to get started.