It was over for me the moment I learned how to read.

I wish telling people about myself came as easily to me as chatting their ear off about books, movies, and story concepts. It’s just so difficult to sift through all the information and pick the things they’d actually want to know: “You’re asking me about my love life but I’m sure you’d much prefer I tell you the idea I had about an old lady who gets superpowers.”

Still, as this is an “about me” page, I’ll try to oblige.

Hi, my name is Abigail (Abby) Rose Manis. It should come as no surprise that my love of writing stemmed from a love of reading. Weaned on a steady diet of children’s books that rapidly advanced through the reading levels of my school, I grew to be a voracious reader. On a grade school spelling test, we were offered extra credit to spell a word that wasn’t on the test. The word I chose was “onomatopoeia.” My teacher didn’t know how to spell it, so she gave me the points automatically. (I’d spelled it wrong, by the way.) 

If a library book I read as a child had an unfair or dissatisfying ending, I would get out a sheaf of paper and write a different ending, tucking it into the book and hoping the librarians wouldn’t catch it. Even back then, I had a love for the written word and the desire to craft a story with it. 

It’s a curious thing to ponder the impact writing has had on my life. Writing is so many things to me. I have been published once, in a peer-reviewed academic journal for a research essay, and have recently had a creative work accepted for publication in a special fiction issue of a national magazine.

When discussing something as elusive and powerful as the personal impact of writing, sometimes one must use the words of others rather than oneself. However, most writing quotes from famous authors and poets have been systematically and mercilessly beaten to death from overuse. Given this, I instead turn to the lesser-known writings of Muscogee poet A.D. Posey: 

We are the thoughts we choose to keep.” 

This sentiment is as simple in theory as it is difficult in practice. Even still, these words hold the somber weight of truth. I choose to think of myself as a writer. The thought of pursuing a writing career is one I’ve locked my jaws into, hanging on with fatal determination. 

Perhaps these aspirations are overly hopeful, perhaps not. But in a world where writers and thinkers are needed now more than ever, I hope to be given a chance to do the “write” thing.