Self-Discovery Through Writing, a guest post by Andrew Joseph White

When I graduated with my master’s degree in creative writing, my parents held a celebratory cookout, complete with balloons, extended family, grad-themed snacks, the usual. But there was something else on the center table, between the chips and M&Ms: crinkled booklets and crude pencil drawings, handwritten crayon zines, stacks of wide-ruled paper stapled together. Some of them were dated—the oldest, from 2013, was a drawing from around my fifteenth birthday. Most of them weren’t—one sported handwriting that matched my kindergarten diary, but I can’t be sure.

Turns out, for the party, my parents had combed the house for my earliest attempts at books. My debut novel would be releasing less than a month after graduation, after all. It was a fitting send-off. Look how far you’ve come, the gesture said. We’re so proud of you.