I guess I should start by saying I'm a young writer in high school. I'm currently in my senior year and will be heading off to college in a few months. I've toyed with this idea for a while now, but I'm still unsure of how/if I should go through with it.
I've written since I was thirteen years old (though it started off as cringy fanfiction), but I've improved a lot over the years. Writing has always been an escape for me. It's something I hold so close to my heart that I want to continue pursuing it as a hobby and improving it. It especially helped me through depression, self-identity issues, and childhood trauma. Without my writing, I probably wouldn't be alive right now if I'm being honest.
Most of the (meaningful) stories I've written revolve around the topic of mental health. They're incredibly special to me because they're my first works, and years from now, they will serve as the base of my journey as a writer. Many of them have gotten some type of recognition or award, even if small, so I also know they at least hold some value to other people for my level of writing. One of my English teachers, however, has so far been my number one fan. She's encouraged my writing every step of the way, and I always take my stories to her for review. She always gives me advice, and a few months ago, she expressed how proud she was of my growth as a writer and the way I've used it to cope with my feelings (she knows about my mental health situation). Essentially, she's been a huge part of my motivation to write these short stories.
Before I go off to college, I want to leave her a gift. She often asks for me to email her or give her a copy of some of my stories, and I guess I kind of want to leave a lasting memory to thank her for the help she's provided me with. So I thought about printing out a small book with my short stories. I also want a copy for myself and a few other adults who've supported me throughout high school, so I guess what I'm trying to ask is: is it a good idea? I don't really intend to do it as a means to self-publish my book and send copies to companies or such since I have a lot to improve before I attempt that. I guess I kind of want to do it as a way to showcase to myself the time and effort I've exerted into this passion and the fact that it's paid off in some way. I want to look at my bookshelf in the future see the book and think, "Wow, that's how I began to write, huh?"
So do you guys recommend that I do it? Do you have any advice on how I could go about it? I've researched a few websites, and I really like lulu. I think there's a way to print out only a few copies of the book, but I still have to go more in depth in the process. Also, should I add a really short author's note before each story to kind of explain how/why I came up with it? I guess I mainly want it to be able to look back at my thought process through these stories since some of them include mental illnesses I've never personally experience.
Source: reddit post