What Meg Cabot and the Princess Diaries Meant to Me

  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.
    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.
  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.
  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.