My recent forays into poetry have quite distracted me from all other writing, and I am well aware that it has been quite some time since I have blogged regularly on this account. However, while this is perhaps a tad late (more like eight months late), I wanted to take the time to truly give you some background insight into my journey with Trust the Wind.
I have been a writer for what feels like most of my life. I wrote my first short story in second grade, just about a year after I finished my first chapter book, and I haven’t stopped writing since. For a while I was content with short stories, but the more I read, the more determined I became to write a novel of my own. I don’t think my fourth grade self would ever have imagined that novel to be Trust the Wind. My earliest attempts at novels were all historical fiction set in the pioneer days. I barely made it past a few chapters with these. When I was in sixth grade, my writing mentor gave me one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received, “write what you know.” Following this, I made considerable progress on two separate projects which I had intended to become novels, but unfortunately my the lives of my protagonists were just as boring as the life of the twelve year old who was writing them. Disillusioned with this, I spent the end of middle school returning to short stories and dabbling with essay writing.
And following that, I experienced the most common of phenomena among creators: writing block. Halfway into my freshman year, I realized I was stuck and I had lost the part of myself that was the most valuable to me, my creative side. Trust the Wind was thus the result of a random inspiration on an otherwise quite normal Thursday evening in November. Of course I don’t remember the specifics, but I do seem to recall that my homework was rather neglected that evening.
I suppose you could say the rest is history. I finished the first draft over a year later, and quicker than I thought possible, I was holding the first copy of my novel in my hands. It wasn’t the bestselling novel or captivating story I had always thought I would write, but it was something. And more importantly, it was my very own. It reflected much of the interests and confusion and silly fantasies of my fourteen year old self. It’s no thriller, but I think (at least I hope) it brought a smile to the faces of at least a few and some moderate entertainment to others. And I am content with that...for now I suppose.
I will be quite honest with you here: it was disheartening for a while to hear the criticisms that of course followed after peers and friends and acquaintances of all ages read my book. Personally, it’s sometimes a little difficult for me to flip through its pages because I know I have grown so much as a writer and more importantly as a person since my fourteen year old self first sat down and wrote the first chapter of Trust the Wind.
But like any other passion, writing is both my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. The commentary I have received has only helped me grow and understand further what my purpose is through the pen. More than ever before, poetry has enabled me to grasp hold of elusive depth and complexity of emotion which I hope I will be able to bring to future fiction.
Novels, poetry, and even these blog posts are mildly terrifying to share because vulnerability is difficult no matter what the medium, and sharing my book with the world was no different. But I am so glad that I did, because now it has opened me up to so much more.
Claire Crafts is a young author and aspiring poet from Southern California. She published her first novel, Trust the Wind, at the age of sixteen. She is currently pursuing new creative projects and hopes to publish again soon in the future. When not writing, Claire enjoys reading, practicing yoga, spending time with family and friends, and exploring positive psychology.