At the age of thirteen, I knew that I wanted to be remembered. In a world filled with millions and millions of people, I wanted to leave my mark in the most meaningful and significant way possible. I ventured out of my comfort zone to seek various ways to leave a legacy that’ll not only impress my friends and family but would inspire young black females such as myself. I was indecisive with my decision, caught between several possibilities of what I could do. Become a famous artist? Nope, I couldn’t draw to save my life. Become a Nurse? As much as I loved the esoteric land of the medical field and wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner, I longed to go much deeper than that. I desired to touch hearts, minds, and souls all at once. When I entered my ninth grade year of high school, the idea finally hit me...and it came in the shape of a mobile app.
Wattpad, an online storytelling community, was immensely popular amongst my peers. When I found out about the aforementioned social platform, I knew I had to learn more considering I acquired a very hefty fine at my local public library due to embarrassing late fees. From the moment I joined Wattpad, I fell in love with the teen-dominated atmosphere. Short stories, poems, novels and everything in between are user generated by budding authors who are able to gain a fanbase and possible fame in the community. Within a few weeks, Wattpad became my home away from home and with the keys to my new house, I unlocked a new door in my mind. I came to the realization that in order to be remembered, I was going to become a writer.
From February to September of 2014, I published two novellas on Wattpad. My first one, The Heartbreakers Club, threw me out into the world of hidden breakthrough writers on the site. In a matter of weeks of writing the novella, my fan base grew twice in size. Hundreds of people began reading and commenting, begging for new chapters each week and thanking me for creating the story. By the end of the year, I had already acquired 50K reads but my biggest break on the site would have to be accredited to my second book, Bad Boy Blueprint. The story brought many firsts to me such as being the first story I had ever written in a male's point of view, the first time I challenged a popular bad boy theme on the site and the first book of mine to hit 100K reads in less than a year. Today, Bad Boy Blueprint is my most popular book standing with half a million views and has even been a part of several promotional campaigns affiliated with Wattpad- one of them used to help promote the book-turned-movie, the DUFF.
With new stardom on the site, came new followers. Readers from all around the world wrote to me and expressed their love for me and my stories. With Wattpad, I led a double life like Hannah Montana. I was Jade Walters by day: the introverted high school freshman then Jade Carson by night: the writer who wasn’t afraid to use her voice to write whatever her heart desired. Writing allowed me to discover who I am. It helped me learn to speak up more, to stand up for my beliefs, and to never let anyone get in the way of my goals. In a matter of time, I was no longer that shy, passive girl I was once before. I became a confident young woman, a feminist and a civil rights activist. I became that girl who always spoke her mind about things that she was passionate about. I became the role model I wish I had. I became someone who will be remembered.