Written by Guest blogger
My name is Katrin and I am a writer. Let me tell you the story about how I found that out.
I‘ve always been fascinated with letters and words. How you can use letters to form words in so many languages, and how you can then use those words to create magic. You can create a whole new world if you like. From Aasgard to Hogwarts, there are no limits with words. I taught myself how to read at the age of three, and when I was able to hold a pen, I started writing my own fairytales. I loved getting lost in my own creation. At school, I was a bit of a daydreamer. But overall I did well, as most of the courses included writing. Except for math. And boy did I learn it the hard way, that if you don‘t know math, you won‘t ever amount to anything! Or so they say!
All throughout elementary school, my teachers gave me a little nudge every now and then. About needing to focus more on the math, about having to practice more because I was behind the other kids. Homework wasn‘t any better, that was just a headache for my parents and a nightmare for me. I didn‘t get any help at school. Nobody seemed to notice that there was something very wrong that needed to be addressed. Thankfully, my parents saw my potentials with the pen, and so they encouraged me to continue writing.
I flunked out of high school. That was basically like hitting a wall full speed. It was there that I was told I would never go anywhere in life if I didn‘t learn math, that I was just lazy and had to work harder. I brought myself down more and more. I felt dumb and helpless. I knew that something was wrong but it was like shouting in a crowd full of people without being heard. And so my grip on the pen tightened. I held on to that one for dear life. I developed an irrational fear of rejection, and so I never allowed anyone to read any of my work. Because I could handle rejection when it came to math, math didn‘t matter to me. But my writing did. And I was too fragile to be put down for something I knew I could do, was good at, and cared deeply about.
Six years later, I tried again. Applied for a year-long preliminary course at a university in Iceland and got good grades, passed everything. Except for math. I pleaded with the school to allow me to take another course instead of math. But no. And because of that, I was not allowed to graduate and had to stand by and watch each and every one of my schoolmates go on stage and get their degree. A degree I felt I had very much earned, but was not given a chance. Cast out like a society‘s reject. But this time, I was furious. And more determent than ever not to give up! Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with severe dyscalculia. The woman who diagnosed me could not believe that nobody had ever noticed and that I had never had any help. I was 25 when I got my diagnosis.
Fast forward three years, and I had my Bachelor’s degree in Media & Communication. I had refused to give up, and I was now not only a proud owner of a degree, but also working as a journalist. But I still felt like there was something I hadn‘t done. And that‘s when I came across Bournemouth University. Something about it just pulled me in. Even though it was in a different country! I got accepted and moved with my husband to England. We settled in Bournemouth and I started the year-long course at uni, hoping to earn my Master’s degree. And during that time, I started writing my first novel. Now, remember, up until this point I had never allowed anyone to read my work, except maybe a handful of people. BU changed all that for me.
And so, here I am. About to receive my Master’s degree in Sriptwriting, graduating with a merit, and about to publish my first novel! And that is how I finally realised what I should have known all along. I am a writer. Writing has been my lifeline through everything. And spending a year at Bournemouth University helped me come out of my shell and get over my fear of rejection. Which is why I am now publishing my first book, I finally have the courage to allow people to read my work! My book, The Skeleton Sisters, is about four very different women. They were childhood friends in Ridgefield, New Jersey, but parted ways shortly after high school graduation. 30 years later their paths unexpectedly cross, and they find each other again, only to realise that their lives have woven together in many, very surprising ways. It is a women‘s fiction, inspired by films like Mamma Mia, Big Wedding, and the classic TV show Golden Girls.
I hope that you will be inspired by this story of mine and never give up! No matter what, if you have a dream, chase it! And don‘t ever let anyone tell you that it‘s impossible or be discouraged in any way. Stick to it, and I promise you, great things will happen!