A long time ago, which really isn't all that long ago considering that I'm only sixteen, I picked up a small little notebook, and decided that I wanted to write a story.
A long time ago, which really isn't all that long ago considering that I'm only sixteen, I picked up a small little notebook, and decided that I wanted to write a story. That was the first day of summer after fifth grade, and a lot has changed since then.
It seems like an obvious thing to say, but my writing--the subject of my writing, more so--has always correlated to my life. Back then, after fifth grade, the big "thing" was a series of books known as The Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini (a series of books I now deny to ever have liked). The books were perfect for kids like me, who loved magic, dragons, knights, and people flying around on those dragons waving swords and shooting spells at each other. Fantasy was where I started, as it seems many young aspiring writers ought to start simply because fantasy is usually such a passion and leaves room for vast creativity in writing and telling stories.
My first attempt at writing a book began on that first day of summer. I still remember a lot about it, too, more about it than I wish I did remember. For example, the book's name was Ignis Flumen, which is latin for "fire river." The main character was named Orlando, and he was the son of some great king. Every single character was flat as cardboard, as the saying goes, every element of the story a rip-off of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. And that's embarrassing enough to admit, so hopefully you get the point.
Since then, I can proudly say that I've moved on. If I hadn't, something would probably be wrong. I have nothing against the fantasy genre of books, but it's just not for me. I discovered the works of Stephen King my freshman year of high school, and as a result, both my interests in reading and writing have changed dramatically, and hopefully for the better.
At the moment, I have a manuscript proposal for a book I wrote sitting somewhere in New York City, awaiting review from a publishing company. While I'm hopeful for it, I understand that a great many authors had to fight through countless rejections before finally finding success, so persistence is key in the game of publishing. I can say now, with a bit of nostalgia but content as well, that dragons and magical knights are nowhere to be found in my stories. My genre is more along the lines of horror, often times paranormal, or as I like to say: "just life," since life has its own horrors.
As embarrassed as I am of many of my previous attempts at writing books, looking back on those old notebooks always makes for a good laugh. Some of my old writing is so bad that it's hilarious but I'll probably keep it to myself, even from my fellow writer friends, and some of it I think has a funny bit of potential. I don't claim to be a great writer or anything, especially since writing is a constant learning process, but I know that I have a chance, and that writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This of course makes it difficult to extend a passion to school, but I do my best.
Like a good friend of mine and I say among each other: "writing is life, and life is short." Being a writer wouldn't be quite as exciting or eventful a career as something along the lines of a clinical psychologist or a police officer or anything, but personally I wouldn't have it any other way.
"We do not write because we want to. We write because we have to."-William Somerset Maugham, author of "The Razor's Edge" and "Of Human Bondage."