A friend recently asked me, if I could go back to when I first wrote The Escape, would I have anything that I would change? My answer was instantly, “Yes!”
Most authors would have the same answer, as we are our own biggest critic and what not. I proceeded to tell my friend how juvenile my writing had been at the time. I originally self published The Escape at fifteen years old, having started to write it at only fourteen. I obviously had many spelling and grammar mistakes that I didn’t catch, and parts of the story that I would have written differently now.
This prompted the idea that maybe I should go back and edit my book, republish it as a second edition, remake the cover as I had truly envisioned it…
Per usual, the idea of a new project instantly made me enthusiastic. I went straight home to work on the new cover, dive into the pages of my book, and change everything that bugged me about the original writing.
I got to the introduction. Finally, I could change it up, make the adolescent writing more mature and sophisticated, and as I held my finger over the backspace button, I froze.
It had been a while since I’d read through the words, and something struck me in the writing, something I hadn’t noticed before.
Back when I first wrote The Escape, somebody said that it was a good book but it sounded like a teenager wrote it. Somebody else told me to keep that teenage voice. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to get rid of that voice. But as I sat now, reading through the words written by my fourteen-year-old self, it felt almost magical.
Wendy was an extension of my voice at the time, a representation of my inner thoughts and frustrations at the world around me. The teenage voice I had captured then was not the same voice that I now have. What makes The Escape so special is that encompassed teenage voice.
I couldn’t take it away. My project suddenly became simply editing spelling and grammar, and correcting a few faults in the storyline, but I could no longer remove the enchanting words of my former self. I couldn’t let her go.
For the first time ever, I embraced her.