Becoming A Chameleon To The Literary World – Sunflower&Steel

Hello chums! My name is Jennifer, and welcome to my blog where I will carry you through my journey as an aspiring YA author on the publishing track with my own dystopian novel. Join me through my snapshots, doodles and general misshapen thoughts that were just begging to be documented! (That last bit might be a lie, but I’ll ignore it if you will!).

Recently I have begun to think about the very human idea of experiences and it occurred to me that I have nothing to offer the world in the way of blogging or writing, that the unreliable sanctity of what I already know to be true.

I am a twenty-one year old girl named Jennifer who relishes in still being young enough to be classed as a girl, but resents the reluctant suspicions with which older authors or teachers approach me. I am a curious mix of white, frilly socks tucked into t-bar shoes, and an elderly lady with a dog with his own china cup, which separates me from those my own age. Sadly, I still haven’t decided how I feel about having unintentionally morphed into the unlikely protagonist in the Brittany Spears’ song ‘Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman’.

This very afternoon as I peered at two outfit choices for my first meeting with a freelance editor, I was faced with my indecisiveness once more. I am a bright pink Doc Martin’s kind of girl, but a knee-high black boots and sophisticated dress kind of woman. Quite the opposite to the perhaps more rational feeling of despair, I felt relief as I thought of two starkly different characters in my novel.

Let’s just say I eat, breathe, sleep Young Adult Fiction – or should that be read, write, adore? In my own novel, I could suddenly identify with my eighteen-year-old cruelly brave and fearfully fragile female protagonist, and the austere, sultry yet terrifyingly powerful woman who I had subconsciously placed as adversaries in keeping with my own mental separation of the different parts of myself.

Nicknames for me by my friends range from Sunflower to Steel, and it is only due to my upcoming meeting with this suave editor, that I have come to understand that I am a chameleon to the given situation at hand. More interestingly, and unknowns to my best conscious intentions, I have given each female character in my book this same superpower – with the strongest being a protagonist whom is wickedly similar to myself.

I say superpower because this ability has served me as well as it has my characters. Indeed my particularly charismatic and hilarious Creative-Writing mentor, (Author Kate Kerrigan) called me sure-footed and confident in my novel and writing abilities from early on in our collaboration. It was a high compliment from someone who instantly made me desire the very ease with which she sat with herself and her opinions. At the time I felt like no more than a little girl lost in a crowd of those much taller (more talented) and much smarter (more confident) than myself. Indeed, on the very day she said that my palms were sweating so much I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom. Twice.

I feel no shame in admitting this, because I have since come to the solidifying realisation that I have imbued my bones with the steel of well-deserved confidence. Each word of my novel took effort, and each effort was momentous. I would be doing myself a disservice to deny the strength I have to never fail to act despite fear and nerves – as would you, reading this.

That day my wonderful mentor whom I have since gotten to know as a safety net of confidence, received a judgement that was not false but simply not largest part of who I was that day. Each of my characters has been risen from ink and brainwaves with this same magic to withstand such scenarios by recognising an inner strength and overriding doubt until they are irrevocably true to themselves.

And thus, it does not matter what impression my editor immediately takes from me in a few days time, or if she even notices the correlation between myself and my characters, because I am both girl and woman – both Sunflower and Steel. And that is more than okay.

Although in case any of you were wondering, I’d choose the pink Doc Martin’s any day.


Write soon,

Jennifer x

6 thoughts on “Becoming A Chameleon To The Literary World – Sunflower&Steel

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