My Start Story

I've been watching a lot of Start TV lately. Start TV is home to shows starring strong female leads like Crossing Jordan, Cold Case, and Ghost Whisperer. They also feature My Start Stories of women fighting for and getting the careers they want.

Copied from the site: We'd love to hear your My Start Story suggestion so we may consider it for inclusion in our series highlighting the success and insight of those making a difference. Submit a story about yourself, or about someone else that deserves to be recognized.

I'm not going to share my story with Start TV because I'm not sure I'm what they're looking for, and it's a video series. But I do like the idea. I want to see how this works out.

I'm Kaylyn Gabbert. I'm an author, content writer, and game writer. Writing and storytelling are pretty much in my blood. I started writing on a bus trip back from a church camp at the age of eleven. It was a silly story about four to six small pages long in a Winnie the Pooh notebook. And just like that I was bitten by the writing bug. I tried my hand at stories, scripts, poems. My dad thought that since I created character names that I didn't like my name. The one he picked out. Speaking of my dad, he even helped me write a song that's on a CD. A very personal song. As my best friend would read any of my work, my heart would race and my leg would bounce uncontrollably. 

Fast forward to high school my parents were definitely noticing that writing was becoming more than a hobby. I wouldn't stop writing stories (my favorite thing) even when I was class, and ALL my teachers knew it. They even fought for my writing because if I couldn't write in my own world my grades would suffer. While in high school, my dad introduced me to an author and interviewed him for me when I froze. I finished one of my first stories, for my senior project. My English teachers were very helpful with my dreams: helped me collect feedback, edited my work, and helped me as Dad would say, "use my strengths to help my weaknesses".

After Dad passed writing helped me cope, and that's when I started writing Drag Me to Hell (not related to the 2009 movie). It helped writing fantasy. Once I finished it my friends across the world wanted to see it, and I was sick of emailing and losing track of who got what. I looked into self-publishing with AuthorHouse and another company but only AuthorHouse got me to sign two contracts with them. They helped me market my books as well as my name. People are calling me about new opportunities.

Between publishing my first and second books I wanted to attend Full Sail University. I tried getting in, in 2012, but there was financial trouble. In 2014 Mom (in law) helped me get in. I got Mom (biological) to send me a letter and help me collect the rest of the important documents I needed. Full Sail told me the program I wanted, Creative Writing for Entertainment, wouldn't help novelists but I insisted. I knew I could always get better at genres, but I didn't know that I'd find out how much I loved writing for audio scripts and for video games.

When I graduated I took months off to relax and recoup, and as soon as 2018 started I looking for jobs. I also started finding great writing friends. After a Full Sail University networking event in NYC I saw a status asking for a table read for a video game script. I was intrigued and looked into it. After two, two-hour table reads I found myself hired at StrideStar as a writer and editor. I helped two women get hired as writers as well. Throughout the year and a half I've worked at StrideStar I've learned how to create characters, bosses, levels, and I'm learning about storyboarding now.

One of my writing friends I found was looking for guest bloggers about sensitive topics. I was inspired by too many celebrity suicides in one week. I wanted to break the stigma about suicide and suicidal thoughts since I battled my own demons for years. I wrote my story for my friend Ash. She then pushed me to write the story in the most detail possible. It was hard to write, but I'm glad I did. After a while I also wrote about my sexual assault stories. As I was working on the post some people came to me and wanted to me to share their stories as well. After getting both of those posts shared I decided I wanted to be vocal about taboo like topics to let people know they aren't alone when it comes to mental health, living with disabilities, and more.

While working on all my writing I've met a lot of writers and artists. I started a Facebook group called Accountabilibuddies. I've seen members open up, share some amazing work, and I've seen them through the best times. I've got pictures with authors. The group is a good way to get help/advice, support, beta readers, and more.

There is still so much I want to learn about writing. Do I want to be just an author? Do I want to be a freelancer? Do I want to keep a wide-net open in the writing world? Right now I'm auditing classes as Full Sail to keep on the top of my field. This time around I'm taking game writing, Transmedia, and developing new worlds. I intend to go back for other classes in the future. I wonder where my writing will take me. 😊😊

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