The Un-Princess Diaries: How Meg Cabot’s Novels Inspired Me to Write


I can’t remember when it was that I first started reading The Princess Diaries, but it must have been around ninth grade, because the first book was published in 2000. The Princess Diaries were my gateway drug to many other fabulous YA novels. I loved that they were in the form of a diary, because I’ve always kept one, but I loved them even more because I found Mia Thermopolis so relatable. She was smart but also nerdy, awkward and hyper-observant just like me. I might be a little fuzzy on the details, but at some point in the series, Mia is freaking out about what she’s going to do with her life and her best friend Lily points out that she already knows what she loves to do; she’s always writing in that diary.

I had a similar conversation with my best friend the other day when we were talking about our jobs and how we were going to get to where we want to be in our careers. I’ve been working for five years and blogging for four, and even though my jobs have never required me to write, my best friend said she thinks of me as a writer. And that was so flattering to me, because I worry all the time about my career path and how I need a plan to combine doing what I love with making money and how I need to hop on the whole “going after my dreams” thing. The usual stuff.

I come up with ideas for essays and blog posts all day long: walking down the street, on the subway, at my desk, at lunch time… I’m pretty much fresh out of ideas by the time I get home at night and have a chance to sit down and write them. By the end of the day, I barely have enough energy to make my moves in Words with Friends. It’s a frustrating cycle. But, at the end of the day, tired or not, I still love to write, and I’m going to do it whether someone pays me or not.

So, like Mia, I should probably not worry so much.


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