At the beginning of last school year, Annika Godwin, 14 years old, had recently moved from Salem to Sod. She was down — even hurt — at the absence of the familiar sights she was used to.
Little did she know what awaited her here.
“I’ve moved from school to school in the past,” she said. “But the most recent move to the opposite side of the state had to be the hardest. It was very difficult to adjust, but eventually I did.”
Godwin began attending Duval PK-8. After some persuasion from her eighth grade English teacher, Fred Tackett, she entered a competition in the literary/art magazine Teen Ink for National Novel Writing Month. Godwin had from Nov. 1 to 30 to write a 50,000 word novel.
Although she started more than a week late, she was still determined.
“My close friends persuaded me to write my novel, ‘On the Right Path,’” she said. “Now they inspire me in all aspects of my life because of their diversity and the struggles they endured.”
Halfway through the month and the book, the pressure started to set in. At this point, an ordinary person might have given up, but Godwin is by no means ordinary.
“Originally, I started the novel for a contest, but as time went on, I did it for fun and to be able to say I published a book before high school,” she said. “I didn’t do deep, metaphorical thought when writing the book; I just wrote.”
When the writing was finally done, it was time for the editing. Although it was a long and infuriating process, Godwin stayed optimistic.
By the end, all she could say was, “Thank God, I finally finished it!”
Godwin said the plot of “On the Right Path” was initially a “wing it” idea.
“I wasn’t sure if I was choosing the right thing to write about,” she said. “But as time went on, I realized what direction I wanted to go in, and I really loved it.”
The book’s main character is Felicity, better known as Felix, who believes she is an otherworldly creature. She finds herself on Earth, but she has no memory of how she ended up there.
As time goes on, she meets new people, discovers new things and starts enjoying her time on Earth. When people from her past start to reappear, though, Felix must make a tough decision, and she wonders if she chose the right path.
Annika Godwin chose her right path, and she is an inspiration to everyone around her. She shows that just because you are small, it doesn’t mean you cannot do big things.
“On the Right Path” is available in paperback on Amazon.
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