My first publication is on a now defunct page on the Worldwide Web, seattlewritergrrls.org. The date sometime in 2004. The title: The Oprah Prize.
You can read it by following this link. It isn’t good writing, but it is writing nonetheless. And published writing at that. I was new to my career as a marine biologist, but I felt a tug to write. The Oprah Prize was written in a moment of inspiration. I awoke from a deep sleep. A voice telling me to write. I left the warmth of my bed with my still sleeping cat and boyfriend in it, to the damp, Seattle chill of the living room. I opened my journal and began to write, longhand, a longing I had since I was a teenager.
In 2004, I had no training as a writer. My last English class was AP English fifteen years prior. I had no knowledge of genres other than fiction and poetry. I had no knowledge of memoir, it was called autobiography, and creative nonfiction was still in diapers if born at all.
I wish to archive this writing on my wordpress site. I don’t want to shy away from less than great writing. Writing is a process. A long and hard process. I appreciate that now, sixteen years later with an MFA in creative nonfiction under my belt and a book in progress.
The Oprah Prize is not a desire of mine anymore, as I write in the essay. But the desire to write and share my story for others to learn from, is still strong. In all of its authenticity.