1. I read The Princess Diaries when I was 10.
  2. It was the first time I realized that I could write how I talked, and that this could be considered real writing.
  3. This was the first step in finding my voice as a writer.
  4. The Princess Diaries books prompted me to start keeping my own journal, which I've done on and off for the last 14 years.
  5. I read all of Meg's books. The ones under pen names, the ones that were maybe too adult at the time, the whole shebang.
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    Here is the shelf of Meg's books that I still have in my parents' house
  6. I would get her books the day they came out and sit on the floor of my bedroom, consuming them.
  7. I read Meg's blog daily for years. It made me feel empowered.
  8. A piece of advice I saw on there was to write a page a day. Even if it's bad, at least you're writing. You can always go back and fix it later.
  9. On school breaks, summers, weekends, any free time I had, I would write. 300 words minimum. If I missed a day, I had to do 600 the next. I was extremely disciplined in this regard.
  10. Because of this, I wrote three manuscripts before I left for college.
  11. They were young adult novels.
  12. I'm sure they're utter crap.
  13. I'm still so proud of them.
  14. When I came home for Christmas, my mom handed me a book she'd gotten from the library.
  15. The adult continuation of the Princess Diaries series.
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  16. And it brought back so many memories.
  17. I opened the first few pages, and came across the headers that always began the journal entries.
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  18. That I modeled my own personal journal entry headers on.
  19. So now I'm crying but it's cool because this was so influential in shaping me as a young woman and as a writer.