“Bored Dog”: Finding my roots as a writer

A student reflects on April 10, 2015, the day she found out a book she had written would be published and how it still inspires her as a writer today.


April 10, 2015

When my mom picked me up from school on an ordinary Friday afternoon in the fourth grade, I could tell she was hiding something, but I couldn’t think of anything that would lead her to be so secretive. 

After a few moments of casual conversation in the car, my mom abruptly said she had something to talk to me about. My stomach started churning, and I could feel the nerves coursing through my body. Then, she unexpectedly pulled out her phone and started recording me.

With the camera rolling, my mom started going on about how she and my dad had a big surprise they were waiting to tell me about.

“We got in contact with a publishing company, and ‘Bored Dog’ is being published!” she exclaimed.

I didn’t know how to react.

When I was eight years old, I wrote “Bored Dog”, a short children’s book about a dog named Charlie and his everyday adventures with his family by his side. 

I had always been passionate about writing and I dreamed of being a successful author, but it wasn’t something I thought I’d realistically accomplish because of the common misconception that artists aren’t able to make a living in the real world, especially when they’re young. 

However, with this news, my mindset was entirely changed. The childish story I wrote to express my creativity was going to establish me as a published author who could succeed before even hitting double digits. 

So many conflicting emotions of fear, excitement and happiness were spinning through my head, and I almost started crying tears of joy. It was a dream come true, and something I never expected to happen with one of the first real stories I had ever written.

I still remember the excitement flowing through me for the  rest of the day. I immediately told all of my closest friends, and they were thrilled for me. Even my fourth-grade teacher showed the video of me hearing the news to the class.

My loved ones helped me realize what a huge accomplishment this was for someone so young. My parents specifically knew that I dreamed of being an author and they went out of their way to help me achieve it.

Surprisingly, the process of getting the book published was a lot simpler than I had expected. I wasn’t involved in the beginning, but my parents told me they contacted a publishing company, Tate Publishing, which reviewed the book and thought, with some minor editing, it would be a great read. 

The company connected me with an agent to help with everything we needed. We worked together on my biography and what I envisioned for the illustrations. I wanted the book to evoke heartwarming feelings and allow for my characters to come alive on the pages. 

Although the company heavily guided us through the publication process, everything was ultimately my decision. It was a very fun and enjoyable experience that still encourages me to this day when I look back and see I had full autonomy of my work. 

The entire process took a few months of back-and-forth communication, and a year later on May 10, 2016, “Bored Dog” was published.

But it was April 10, 2015, that shaped who I am as a writer. Learning I’d be publishing a book I wrote simply for fun as a child validated that the stories I enjoyed creating could lead me to succeed. People enjoy my innately creative storytelling; I don’t have to change my format or style to make it in the writing industry.

I have since grown immensely as a writer, which was made possible by publishing “Bored Dog,” as it gave me more hope for my writing career. Dreaming big, even at such a young age, was clearly achievable as long as I set my mind to it. 

Every time I’m writing something new, I think back to my mom’s surprise and feel warm admiration for what I was able to create, inspiring me to never give up even when I feel like I’ve run out of ideas. 

When I feel discouraged from pursuing a writing career, I think back to the joy I felt and how much I would love to experience it once again. I also think of the supportive people around me who are waiting for the next thing I write to be published.

I’ve written numerous unfinished pieces since, and some finished pieces that I keep near to my heart. I even wrote a sequel to “Bored Dog,” which I unfortunately never submitted for publishing.

Currently, I’m working on a magical-realism novel I started last year about a girl who can move between the real world and a fictional one she created. It was meant to be a fun project for my creative writing class, but it became much bigger for me as an individual writer. 

It’s often hard to make progress because of my busy schedule and writer’s block, but “Bored Dog” inspires me to continue and make my younger self proud. If I could succeed as a child, I can certainly do so now with more experience and mature ideas.

It took just one day for “Bored Dog” to alter the course of my life. April 10, 2015, taught me everyone deserves to chase their dreams, no matter how big or small, even if they’re only eight years old.

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