‘I had to become the hero in my own life’
In 2012, when she was 16 years old, Aija Mayrock decided to turn her high school experience of being bullied and how she fought back into something positive. Using her journal entries and the poems she’d written during the years she was being bullied, she began to write a book, a guide for other kids on how to overcome being bullied. In the book, Aija included her roems, rap poems to express how she felt about being bullied. Listen to this one –
See, words are powerful!
And for two years Aija researched and wrote. She interviewed hundreds of kids who had also been bullied as well as parents and teachers and worked with psychotherapists, counsellors and other teenage health advocates to write The Survival Guide to Bullying. In 2014 when she finished the manuscript, she decided that, rather than wait to perhaps find a publisher, she would self-publish the Guide as an e-book. She found a designer and editor to help her turn her manuscript into a finished book and then a distributor to help sell her book on Amazon and other platforms. She built a website and contacted hundreds of media outlet to promote her book. She never gave up.
‘It’s important to chase your dreams and that purpose, and not take no for an answer.’
Aija’s determination paid off and the book was successful enough for it to grab the attention of global publisher, Scholastic, who published the Guide as a paperback and hardback in 2016.
By telling her story, Aija has helped thousands cope with their own bullying experience. Her words are powerful – so are yours – what story might you share to help others?