So, first things first but I guess I should introduce myself on here as it is my first solo post. My name is Briana Michelle Meyer, but online I am known as Bri. Briana feels very, very professional for some reason. I’m a very, very proud Wisconsinite (Go Pack Go!) who currently lives and works in South Korea as an English teacher. However I will be ending my six years in South Korea in the early fall as I move back stateside for a year. After that, I will be moving to London to attend graduate school for literary studies, focusing on Romantic and Victorian Literature and Culture. Currently, I am revising, once again, a novel I started last July about high school, swimming, and first love, and I plan on entering the trenches again in the fall.
Okay, that intro is done. Now let’s get to the title.
Who exactly am I?
That is a question we writers ask ourselves every day. Who am I? What am I trying to write? Are my thoughts being conveyed correctly on the page? What if this character I literally love someone hates? What if someone doesn’t like what I wrote? Why am I comfortable writing in one tense, but if I try and change it to another tense, I just freeze up?
These are questions I ask myself every day. To be honest, I have a plan to revise my novel in 3 months, with the month of August being for beta readers and the month of September being for me to edit it before sending it out again. But right now, the revisions are at a stand still. I keep needing to make sure I have fresh eyes on it so I’m taking a little break, for now. But I cannot give up on this book. It’s too important with what is going on in the world right now.
You see, I’ve been writing since I was 8 years old. I have known I have wanted to be a writer since then. I would spend recess scribbling in spiral bound notebooks various stories. I have kept all of those notebooks for safe keeping as I got older. I wrote so many different genres, from boarding house stories to stories about spies. I might of even tried my hand at Power Rangers Dino Thunder fan fic about Tommy Oliver. I might be dating myself here, but I am very much a fan of the Green Power Ranger. No story was off limits for myself. I was so confident in my writing that I declared myself a double major in writing and history when it was time for undergrad.
Well, that was a wake up call. The writing department at my university wasn’t the best and the history department sucked all life out of me. That post-undergrad life really confused me. It really made me doubt my own abilities as a writer to the point where I did not write a single story for years. In 2019, I successfully completed NaNoWriMo with a story idea I had since I was 17 and I should have felt good. I should have felt happy about it.
Instead, I felt something else. It felt incomplete. It felt like it was not my style of writing. Who exactly am I?
2020 like for so many people was a hard year and for me it became my year of introspection. I realized so much of myself during that year. I started to read again, which was something I had put on the backburner since the move to South Korea. I really got interested in drawing. And truthfully, I discovered who I was a person.
Suddenly, all of my writing made sense. Suddenly I realized that I wasn’t writing for me, but I was writing for what I thought the public wanted.
And then, the story that reawakened my soul happened. On July 31, 2021 I started writing the first draft of Take Your Mark. I mainly had time to write on weekends only because of personal reasons with work. In November, I finished the first draft. And then I made so many mistakes with trying to find a suitable home for it. I’m a headstrong person and I like to get things going right away. But with writing, it takes time.
Honestly, I was very close to shelving Take Your Mark. But I kept being told by my fellow writing friends to not give up on it. I tried to write other stories but they didn’t make me feel like I felt with Take Your Mark. I felt incomplete. But with Take Your Mark, I felt as if every single piece made sense. It was the book I needed for myself. It was the book I wished I had in high school.
Take Your Mark might find itself an agent. It also might not. But it was the book that helped me figure out the question: who exactly am I?
Our writing needs to grow with us as people. So who are you? You know exactly who you are. Your writing reflects your own personal journey. Do not forget that.
Who exactly am I?
I’m the writer who wishes she had books helping her navigate how she felt in high school more, the writer who wants to change the world, and the writer who really just thinks we need more sports books out there.
And for those of you still asking that question and looking for the answer, don’t worry. You’ll find it and we will be here when you do.
Briana Michelle Meyer is a Wisconsinite currently living and working in South Korea as an English teacher. She got her BA in History and has been a writer since she was 8 years old. Currently, she is working on revising Take Your Mark in hopes of it finding a home in the future. In her spare time she watches way more TV than she should. You can follow her here on Twitter.