My Writing Story

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On freshman year of high school in Brazil, my Portuguese teacher assigned a group project to my class: to write a short book. Just like that. Well, my best friends and I got together at my house, I baked a cake for them and left them eating while I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. The only part they took in it was to give me ideas of plot twists and then reading and telling me if it was good or not.

Next year, we had the same project to work on. This time, I wrote a book twice longer and more dramatic.

After that, I just wrote. I carried a notebook with me and wrote every single minute I could, even during classes.

I started a diary to keep notes of the interesting things that happened in my life, thinking that it could give me ideas for some books.

My stories revolved around my friends and I at first.

Then it changed and I wrote about fictional characters from my mind.

However, I never ever thought about being published. Not once.

Over the years, I wrote short stories and started stories, but never finished them. I collected interesting news from magazines and newspapers, things that could give me ideas or be added to other stories.

When I began college, my free time ended and the writing died. But not the ideas. Never the ideas.

And I never stopped reading. Yes, I read less than I had ever read, but books meant a lot to me, so I tried to keep reading at least.

For the next few years, my life went crazy. I went t the US, I couldn’t finish the major I started in Brazil, I didn’t know what major to choose, I graduated and couldn’t work since my visa didn’t allow me to, I thought about going back to college and do something else or go for a master degree so I didn’t just sit around at home waiting for my visa to change … I was lost and couldn’t see any lights at the end of the tunnel.

Then, something happened.

Disclaimer: please, don’t judge (too harshly) the following part. It just happened.  

TWILIGHT came out.

The buzz around it was so huge, I had to read it and find out what it all was about.

I loved it! I read all 4 books in 6 days.

I thought about how good it made me feel, how I loved those books, how I wanted to pass on that feeling. And, to pass on that feeling, I had to write a book that made others feel like I felt.

It’s almost embarrassing to admit this, especially now that I feel kinda sick of TWILIGHT and all behind it. Just so you know, I didn’t even watch the last movie of the saga (yet). But it’s the truth.

Because of the way I felt reading and after having read The Twilight Saga, I went back to writing.

After that, we went back to Brazil and I started writing full time (it was March 2010).

Since I didn’t know anything about writing a real book other than the stories I wrote for myself, I took a few workshops and read lots of craft books.

And I’ve been writing full time ever since. In almost 2 years, I wrote about 5 novels, 2 novellas and 1 novelette and began several others that never saw an end—I know my writing improves with each new manuscript and that someday not too far in the future I’ll woo some agent with one of my manuscripts ;)

Right now, I’m organizing things to go back to the US (in the end of March). Things are crazy and for that I can’t find enough time to write. But once we’re back to the US and everything is settled down again, I’ll dig in. I can’t wait to write.

But like before, my mind is always working and the ideas are always brewing.


Sorry about the longish post =P

How about you? How did you begin writing?


39 Responses to My Writing Story

Hi! I'm Juliana Haygert,

USA Today Bestselling Author.

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