Welcome back to another blog post. Today I was cleaning out some of my old stuff and I came across my books and poems from many years ago! So, I thought it's time to share my unique story of how exactly I became a writer! And I guess it's time to tackle the age old question: does fate exist??
So I guess we can start literally on the day I was born. April 23rd 1999. A few years ago I learned April 23'rd is World Book Day and is the birthdate, and death date of many famous writers such as William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. Let's just talk about that massive list for a moment. Are you freaking kidding me??? On all the days I could be born April 23'rd just happened to be the day? And it just so happens to be World Book Day? And eerily, many famous writers share this date for either their death date or birthdate? Ironic right? Ummm... thanks for keeping with the tradition mother.
I started writing the moment I could hold a pencil and string together literate sentences. I started writing novels and poetry at age 6. By the time I was 9 years old I had written dozens of poems, short stories, and a novella series Sarah the Detective which consists of 50 books! During this time I won multiple poetry and short story contests and spend my days writing or thinking about writing. There wasn't much else to me. I was bored to death by anything that wasn't books or writing. What can I say, I was a strange child. But by age 10, which was when I was in fifth grade, I started writing my YA book series, The Crystal Chronicles.
As you can probably tell from reading that, I literally cannot remember a time where I didn't want to be a writer. Being a writer wasn't just something I wanted to do, it was something I had to do. It was like this knowledge that was innately stored within me from the very moment I entered this world.
Many people do not believe me when I tell them, but I wrote the bulk of The Crystal Chronicles in sixth grade. The first draft of the book ended up being a whooping 500 pages! That is so freaking long, sometimes I don't even know how little and awkward 12 year old me, managed to write so much! So in the years following in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10, I edited and rewrote and edited and rewrote some more. Talk about a good use of time. And by the time I was fifteen I was ready to publish. So I decided to take the dive and just do it. I had come so far anyway and I wasn't going to stop at the very end.
It took me a year and half to publish the book with my publishing company, Friesen Press. The book was released in February of 2016 when I was only 16 years old. I was in 11th grade. I'm now in 12th grade and currently writing the second book in my 5 part series. Since publication I've appeared on CBC television, have held book signings in Chapters Indigo, and have appeared in two newspaper articles, The Vaughan Citizen and CBC news.
A month after my book came out I started touring local elementary and high schools to speak to students from grades 4-12 about the importance of literacy as well as urging students to reach their own aspirations. I am completely dedicated to changing the world one school at a time, and I work tirelessly to ensure students realize their own potential and capabilities.
To date I've spoken at 43 schools in York Region and I'm scheduled to visit many more in the upcoming months. I'm also expected to appear in many other exciting television programs, media, festivals, and writing workshops in the upcoming year. As of right now, I spend my time touring schools and working on my second book which will be released in the winter 0f 2018 as well as working towards my Ontario High School Diploma.
If you told my ten year old self I would one day become a motivational speaker/author I would've laughed in your face. But once I started giving speeches to kids I felt like I'd found my purpose in life. To write books and to inspire kids to do great things. It is an incredibly rewarding job and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
If you asked me if writers were born or made I wouldn't be able to tell you. Part of me is scientific and believes no one is born anything, and we choose what we become. But another wistful part of me believes I was fated to become an author and speaker to become a symbol of inspiration to other kids. So do I believe in fate? I would have to say no, but many strange events have occurred in my life to lead me to not dismiss the idea completely.
But bottom line: you write the story of your life. You control where each chapter will go. You choose the direction and the people in your life. You control everything. So just do something you love and write your life as a story you would want to read.
Thanks for reading everyone. I feel like my life is one crazy rollercoaster and I'm having the time of my life riding it.
Below are some pictures of my earliest written works such as my poems, novellas, and short stories. I plan to publish most of it one day because it was written between the ages of 6-9 and therefore, appeals to children at those ages. The Crystal Chronicles is for ages 10 and up so it would be really nice to have books for all ages.
For now they are just pictures though. Enjoy!
About the Author
Alessia Dickson is the author of The Crystal Chronicles series. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she is hard at work on her next book.