I Graduated High School

I am 17 years old, and I recently graduated high school. You may be thinking, “Hey, isn’t that early?” but let me explain a little bit.

Homeschool

I was homeschooled, so grades weren’t really grades. If you are being technical, I graduated when I was in grade 11. However, there are some reasons for this.

I skipped a grade of math when switching from brands (not sure what to call them). This is because the first math I was doing taught me quickly, and when I took the test to figure out where I was in Teaching Textbooks, I went straight up to pre-algebra.

There was no science for grade 12. I am not sure why, but I do know I did a whole bunch of challenging science before graduating. In fact, here’s a list of everything I did for math and science in the last four years of school:

Math: algebra I, geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus

Science: physical science, biology, berean chemistry, physics

What I did for my graduation

As in celebration? Nothing, unless you count the celebration in my heart. I was happy—very happy—to finally be finished with school. I could go on and talk about everything I liked and disliked about school, but we’ll save that for another blog post.

Other than that, I made a graduation certificate on Canva. This was just so I could apply to jobs that required I have a diploma. I know Canva isn’t an official diploma, but hey, if God wants me to get the job, he won’t let that stop me.

I also created a resume in Google Docs for fun. However, I ended up applying to two jobs with it and having to write two cover letters. I got rejected from one job. The other one still hasn’t contacted me back yet, so maybe they’re considering me.

Aiden graduated with me

Yep, you heard that right. Aiden, my 16-year-old brother, graduated with me. Our mom started us in school at the same time (since we’re only a year apart), and ever since then, Aiden has been doing the same grades as me. Right now, he enjoys producing music, playing chess, biking, and crocheting.

My next steps

I am working on my writing and website. Currently, I have four books that I’m working on, all in different stages of the writing process. I’ve been working on rebranding my website, as well as some other website things that aren’t public yet. Oh, and blog posts.

Besides this, I’ve applied to two jobs. I’m kind of looking for more opportunities, but I’m not sure yet what I want to do. I’ll do a blog post that goes more into depth on this topic. For now, I’m mainly focused on my writing.

Becoming a Self-Published Author

The Origins

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing. When I was younger, I always had a notebook that I would fill with stories. Once one was used up, I’d send it to a family member and move on to the next.

My stories were usually based off of a picture I saw, a book I’d read, or a thought I’d had. To make them come to life even more, I would embellish them with drawings or stickers. My tales, characters, and settings varied drastically by notebook, but no matter where a story had originated from, it was always imaginative. Think straight out of a dream. Here are two short examples.

Panda Playground

Once, a family member gifted me a sheet of puffy panda stickers, so I wrote a story about a panda. It was in a Hello Kitty notebook. I think she may have been involved in the story as a result, but I can’t quite remember. However, I do vividly recall a page where I drew a panda playground and stuck panda stickers all over it.

Cat and Fish Bone

Another time, a family member gave me a blue notebook with a cat and fish skeleton on each page. Most people would think the cat ate the fish and make a story out of that, but I was maybe eight years old. That wasn’t even on my agenda. Instead, my brilliant mind decided the cat should get married to the fish skeleton (which I called Fish Bone), and they would have abnormal children. I think all their girl children were cats, and all the boys were fish skeletons.

Writing Evolution

Growing up, I was an avid collector of pencils and pens. Every Friday, I was allowed to choose a prize for finishing a week of school. Pencils were my go-to for a while. I used them for everything. Eventually, I discovered that I preferred pens, and the pencils became a decoration for my desk. I think most of my early writing years were spent using notebooks and pens.

When I was around twelve years old, I decided that I wanted to become an author when I was older. With that intention in mind, I created a writing binder. The binder was pink (not sure why—I don’t like pink) and filled with college-ruled papers. Every day, I would open up the binder, take out a few sheets, and either edit or add to a story. My writing started off as crazy figments of imagination, but over time, it evolved into more put-together, realistic plots. Most of the stories I’ve published have their beginnings in that binder.

Technology

Technology was a game changer. My family had a Kindle we shared and almost never used. When I was allowed to use a writing app on it, I discovered how much easier things could be. It was love at first use. I began transferring all my pre-existing books from my binder onto the Kindle, and from there, I edited. It was amazing how easily I could erase and add words without having to rewrite an entire page by hand. A new world of endless opportunities had just opened up for me. Writing had never been easier.

Self-Publishing

That’s when I seriously began thinking about publishing my books. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but my mom helped me set up an email, bank account, and KDP (Amazon self-publishing) account anyway. My dad found me a website host. From there, I designed my website and released six books. My parents graciously allowed me to figure out things on my own, and I am very thankful for that. I learn best through trial and error, and these years were so helpful for me. Even though I regret what came out of that time, God used it to teach me so much I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

My biggest mistake was probably releasing semi-edited stories with plots I now cringe to think about. My mom warned me to edit more first, but I didn’t listen, and sales dropped from a couple a week to nothing. I’ve seriously contemplated taking half of my books down. However, I don’t want to forget where I’ve come from and how much I’ve grown since becoming an author, and I think others should get to see that as well.