Writing has always been a passion of mine, even as a child. I day dreamed often, and at six years old, I was already writing out short stories based on the small fantasies I played out in my head. It encouraged me even more when my grandma would print out my stories and framed them or put them in binders for me. I saw how the other six year olds wrote, and I critiqued them all to myself. I judged their misused grammar, misspelled words, and choppy sentences. I was told by several teachers that I wrote at least a grade level or two higher than I should have at the time (but my math skills were still pretty awful.) I used diaries to make my very own hard covered stories, and I was overjoyed when a teacher gave us writing prompts.
Most eight year old girls dreamed of being ballerinas, doctors, and celebrities. At eight years old, I was already aspiring to be a famous author. I wanted to write down the crazy images in my mind and share them with the world. I wanted everyone to see what I could come up with, and show them what went on in my perspective of things. I did research on it, which wasn't typical of an eight year old, and found out that the average author didn't make much money. I thought it over and said to my mom," Well... I guess I can go without a pony farm." Obviously she laughed, but she didn't believe that I would be an author anyway.
In 9th grade, I started to think she was right. Life caught up with me, and the bullying, stress, and constant sleep deprivation caused by high school crushed me. I had always been so advanced in elementary and middle school, but it seemed that my classmates caught up to me come high school. I no longer felt smart and I no longer felt talented. I put down my pencil, and I never expected to pick it up again. The poetry and stories that I wrote decreased greatly, until finally, the only time I wrote was when it was required for school, and even then I only put in 70%.
Tenth grade was the same, but when I saw that my new school in eleventh grade offered creative writing, there was no chance of me not taking the opportunity. My first few days were pretty intimidating. Each week, the teacher assigned a new writing prompt.
I started school only a day or two before the class turned in one of their stories. Everyone else was given a week to prepare, but my teacher gave me the opportunity to try with the rest of the class. The rules for the assignment were to pick a location, and object, a conflict, and a shocking twist that my peers wrote down out of a hat. I got a castle, a bloody tiara, my mother won't stop sneezing, and the mailman did it. I sat down at my computer that night and typed furiously for over two hours. I printed off my final product, stapled the pages together, and presented it to the teacher the next morning.
What I wasn't told was that the teacher read our stories out loud to the class. Several of my classmates went first, and I was blown away by their stories. Most were goofy, but they were all still so entertaining that it wasn't too wacky. I was getting nervous, and my insecurities urged me to take my paper back and just do the next assignment. Alas, it was too late.
My teacher began reading my story out loud, and I held my breath. There were more laughs than I expected to get, and by the end of my story, I felt so much calmer. After class that day, people complimented my work, and they all seemed surprised to hear that I wrote it in one night. I was practically beaming by the time I got home, a new writing prompt in hand. I wanted to write again!
Soon after, I joined GaG. I've written several MyTakes here, and I've received both compliments and criticism. I believe that both make me a better writer, and I've started to reconsider a career in writing.
Perhaps you'll see my name on an article you read in a magazine, or you'll watch as my name appears in the credits of a movie that you just enjoyed. Even if that doesn't happen, at least I can say that I didn't completely give up on myself, and for that, I have a passion to tinker with and improve on. I can't believe that I nearly gave up on something that brought me so much joy.
Moral of the story, kids, is to continue to try for what you believe in or love doing. If you give up, there's no chance of improving. If you work hard, the worst that could happen is not improving as much as you hoped for.