One thing I can say I'm looking extremely forward to this summer is something that has been constantly on my mind. I think of it every day, quite literally 24/7, allowing it to distract me from school, causing me to drift off into long moments of daydreams. Can you guess what it is yet? Some of you might. ;)
The One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop 2012!!!! *pants*
Most of you are probably wondering WHAT that even is. Well, I'll tell you. But be prepared for random bursts of excitement and epicness.
As most of you probably know by now (that is to say, if you know me), I do a writing program called One Year Adventure Novel, or put simply, OYAN. I have written one novel through this amazing, fantastic curriculum, and am writing a second novel using a secondary program to OYAN, called Other Worlds. Other Worlds teaches you about fantasy and science fiction with a distinctly Christian worldview in mind, and leads you through the steps of how to create your own world and introduce different supernatural elements to your story. It is also taught by the same man who teaches OYAN, Daniel Schwabauer, famously know by the OYANers as Mr. S.
Now you're probably asking yourself: "What on earth are OYANers?" Well, they're only a bunch of the craziest, awesome-est, epicest, and funnest people on the planet! (And yes, I do realize some of those are not real words. But OYANers are known for making up words randomly. ;)) This definition probably hasn't helped you any. You see, on the world of the internet, there is a remote place tucked safely into a corner, untouched by all save several hundred teens and young adults who share one passion: that of writing. Many of them also share an undying love for music, art, film-making, and above all, God. On this forum, we OYANers join forces and stand for truth, writing furiously and assisting one another along the way, lifting the wounded and hopeless high, until they are able to stand on the pedestal of victory. We encourage, laugh, cry with one another, have long theological debates, raise cries of alarm as one when our beloved forum is merged into chaos and shuts down. We are a family. A family of writers who are not writers just for the sake of it, but who share one desire: to write words that will change the world. To weave together stories for the glory of God, overthrowing Satan and darkness and spreading truth and light throughout the entire world.
I feel truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful community. It has changed my life in a multitude of ways. Firstly, when I joined the forum and started OYAN on September 3, 2009, I came to realize that I didn't have to be alone as a writer. I had always thought that the writing life was for older, more experienced people, and that it would be weird for me to write a novel at such a young age. But I found out just how wrong I was. Even people YOUNGER than me had written several novels, and had done so with no shame and no regret. Secondly, I thought I was strange for being an introvert and that I needed to change and become extroverted in some way, to fit in with the majority of the world. But, in my heart, I knew that wasn't and isn't my character and that it would be difficult to change, so I felt discouraged. OYAN changed that. There are many people on there that I can relate to in several small ways, and even in some big ways. :) Getting to know the people helped me to be more confident with who I am.
OYAN has honed my writing skills a great deal. Two years ago, I was such a beginner. I hardly knew anything about writing a novel. Now, I can't claim to know even close to everything, but I know a million more things than I did before I began this curriculum. If I looked back to my writing as of 2 to 3 years ago, I would be disgusted. Absolutely horrified that I wrote something like that. But OYAN has not only taught me how to structure a novel, it has taught me how to structure a STORY and what it is that makes a story, a story.
It's amazing, really, what an influence a little school curriculum can have on a person, considering my mom found it quite by accident during a group discussion at a homeschool group. But I know it wasn't by accident. It was all in God's plan and for some reason, he wanted me to do OYAN. What that reason is, I have yet to find out. I'm extremely thankful God led me to this program, so that I could carry out my dreams to be a writer. To be a small part of the effort we Christians all make to bring the world to repentance. I also give a thousand words of credit to Mr. S for creating the program, enabling young writers to join together as one and encourage each other in their writing journeys and their Christian walks.
This is why I am bouncing in my chair for excitement because of the definite possibility of going to the 3rd annual Summer Workshop and Reunion in Kansas this summer, where the OYANers will meet, some for the first time, others for the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th time. For me, I will be uniting with several great friends for the first time ever. I will be uniting with family. :)
Stay tuned for the next part of this topic, where I will discuss the Summer Workshop in detail and the many benefits of taking this 6-day journey!
Have a GREAT weekend, my friends!