Sydney Paige McCutcheon
"Writing was never a career option for me. I was going to be a Harvard-Grad Lawyer. But then I turned fourteen and all my plans changed."
I started writing at a young age when introduced to poetry and won first place in a Mayo Clinic Poetry Contest for my grade level. I always thought of writing as a way to express the things I couldn't say aloud, things I was too shy or embarrassed to reveal about myself. I used writing as a portal to reach/connect to the world.
The year my lawyer plans changed was the year I attempted my first novel. I wrote in blue ink in a spiral notebook and gave the rough draft to my friend when my family moved from Arizona to Texas (I have always been one for the dramatics. My friend was the first reader of my book attempt and so I gave it to her to remember me by. Later on I asked whatever happened to it and she wasn't sure, thinking she must have thrown it away or something.)
Anyhoo, it was the first attempt. Even though my plans had changed, writing as a foremost career wasn't what I had in mind. After I turned fourteen, I wanted to be an actress. Me, who in the fifth grade during our 'Sing America Sing' play I tried out for every speaking part, singing, and dance and ended up getting a silent acting role (I made sure to stand closest to the audience, being the best Pilgrim 1 there ever was), I didn't make the dance, but I was one of four backup singers for Martin Luther King Jr's song. So it paid off. I wasn't just another kid in the crowd, I had a part, and I'm thankful that I was bold enough to try.
As I continued through High School, book ideas and movie ideas started coming to my mind and I wrote them down. I realized I had potential in making books, the very things I love.
I wrote the first draft of "Henry" the summer after I graduated high school and four years later, after many edits and breaks, "Henry" was published (August 2014).