We’ve talked about the power of our stories. Danica Davidson shares her writing aspirations here. She’s gutsy to “wear the shirt” of her writing aspirations, and I’ll bet that’s why you’ll likely see her books on the shelf soon.
Danica is a professional freelance writer who is now actively seeking to publish a YA novel. She has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and featured on the Guide to Literary Agents about her novel-writing. She has also adapted Japanese books into English. Please check out her website www.danicadavidson.com or follow her on Twitter @DanicaDavidson
I’ve been telling stories as far back as I can remember. Even as a young child, I knew I wanted to be a writer. When I was in first grade I was habitually writing picture-books (which I also illustrated) and in second grade I made my first attempt to write a novel. By the time I was in middle school, I was writing novels regularly. This just came naturally to me, and I couldn’t imagine a life without writing. From the beginning I’ve wanted to share my stories, so I’ve never been one to write and hide my creations. I’ve had a drive to share them and to be a professional writer.
Even at age eleven I would go to writers’ meetings carrying my writing and trying to show them to adults. Not many of the adults took me seriously because of my age, but I could tell a few were impressed. Nothing came of it professionally, though. I began bringing my novels into school and sharing them with friends, who then passed them on to more readers. These readers also passed them on and soon I had a school fanbase, which was a flattering, honoring and wonderful thing. Around this time the Los Angeles Times covered me as an up-and-coming author.
I thought it would all come together for me then, but it didn’t. There was a family tragedy and my life changed. I had to work three part-time jobs while studying on my own to get my high school diploma. I worked at a feed store, I worked at a daycare, and I did reporting for the local newspaper. The newspaper reporting was somewhere along the lines of what I wanted to do, but the other two jobs were because they were what I could get and I needed the money. I was very much aware that many of my friends were goofing off and partying through their senior year as I struggled through low-paying jobs to make an income. I was in a very different world from most people my age, though I’ve also come to learn that too many other teenagers have to face the same reality. We don’t always get a chance to enjoy our childhoods.
I wrote when I had time, but so often it had to get pushed aside for more immediate needs. I began sending articles to magazines in hopes I could build up a résumé there and this would help me get my novels published.
But, because I had no professional writing done (and school fanbases certainly didn’t count) magazines continued to reject me. Finally I got into a few, and then I was able to build it up. Now, a few years later, I’ve sold a few hundred articles to more than thirty magazines, newspapers and websites, including Booklist, Ms., MTV News and Publishers Weekly. I’ve also adapted Japanese books into English. I do these to pay the bills, and because I enjoy writing. Ultimately, though, I do this to help me get my novels published. What I’m trying to publish are YA (a.k.a. Youth Adult) novels, meaning that they’re aimed for a teenage audience.
I didn’t pick an easy field to break into. But then again, I can’t say I really picked this field. Writing chose me, and my drive for success seems to have chosen me, too. I always feel a need to accomplish, to get things done, to push myself for the best. I can’t be happy sitting and letting my life pass me by. My life hasn’t always been what I’ve wanted it to be, and some things are still very difficult now, but I have the ambition — and intent — to keep going and make this life work for me. I want to get my YA novels published, and I don’t see giving up as an option.
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