1. The time I got published in my schools art book.
-When I was in 6th grade we were assigned to write a piece of poetry. Trying to be different and shooting for a good grade, I decided to write about my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer. Somehow, this poem was submitted to the editors of my schools’ art book. This book included stories, poems, and photos of art. After re-reading it now, I’m not sure why it was even considered but it was actually published for my entire school to read. This was the first time I was ever praised or received any kind of feedback for my writing; I mean my mom bought enough copies to send to everyone in my family.
2. The letter I wrote about my trip to Senegal
-When I was a senior in high school, I went on a mission trip to Senegal, Africa. Typically, families that are not able to come up with the money for the trip on the spot ask family and friends for donations. In my letters asking for donations, I promised to send a letter summarizing my trip upon my arrival. After I got home from this life changing mission trip, I wrote a detailed description of my days in Africa. My grandma called me one day and she told me how much my grandpa loved my letter. She told me he read it over and over again and asked her to keep it. My grandpa is a very intelligent man who has always been a massive reader and him approving of my writing has really stuck with me for the rest of my life.
3. The sonnet I wrote my senior year
-As a senior in high school I heavily dealt with anxiety and depression. So when I was assigned to write two sonnets for my English class, anxiety riddled 18-year-old Anna took this chance to let her true, moody, glum feelings out. After turning in the poems, I was unsure if I actually did them correct. When returning the papers, my teacher asked me to read both of my poems aloud to the class. The class clapped after each one and my teacher told me I could “easily be a poet one day”. I have a lot of respect for that teacher and what he said about my writing gave me a lot of faith in myself.
4. The story I wrote for womanhood
-Again, when I was a senior in high school, I was assigned to write a story that included all these topics in a book we had been discussing in my Bible class. After putting the assignment off until the very last day I finally had this incredible idea for the story. I ended up staying up all night writing but I still wasn’t finished. I convinced my mom to let me stay home from school and finish writing. When I finally received my paper back weeks later, there was a note from my teacher saying she would like to buy “the very first copy of my first novel someday”. This absolutely stunned me. I had never thought of myself as a writer. I knew poetry was something I was capable of but this was the first time I thought it would be possible for me to write something large.