I should have been born with my fingers permanently glued to a keyboard. From the age of five, Iâ€™ve known that I want to be a professional writer: a journalist, a novelist, a modern-day Shakespeare, maybe. Okay, not Shakespeare. Will used to give me terrible headaches back in my freshman year as I tried to figure out what he was talking about in A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Macbeth in my sophomore year was much easier to understand.
Regardless, Iâ€™m practically addicted to books, whether Iâ€™m reading or writing them. I canâ€™t go a single day without writing something â€“ a short story, a novel chapter, an article â€“ and if I do, I feel a tingling in my fingers, an itch that wonâ€™t go away until I sit in front of a computer or pick up a well-sharpened pencil and just let my thoughts out.
I can be inspired by anything: an expression, a song, a movie. Once I get inspired, itâ€™s like a series of bells going off in my mind, the gears turning faster and faster as I spin out one possible story after another. Ghosts? Vampires? Shape-shifters? What about bogeymen, fairies, andâ€¦Desis? Well, why not let my Desi â€“ my South Asian â€“ heritage inspire me too?
My extended, very Desi family is so widespread that whenever I meet with a cousin or an aunt I only vaguely remember, I tell him or her Iâ€™m a writer because I know it will distinguish me from all the other â€śkidsâ€ť in the family and make me memorable. I tell my relatives about the stories I used to write as a child, the projects Iâ€™m working on now, and why Iâ€™m working so hard to make a breakthrough in the competitive world of publishing. One aunt hugged me and told me, â€śJust donâ€™t forget about the rest of us when you become the next J.K. Rowling.â€ť
Smiling, I replied, â€śDonâ€™t worry, I wonâ€™t.â€ť Call it a hunch, intuition, or confidence, but I know that I will become the next J.K. Rowling. I have the ambition, I have the means, and I have the talent. My English and History teachers donâ€™t praise my writing and tell me I have an innate writing talent because they want to be nice â€“ they know how passionate I am about writing, and how that passion slips through my fingertips to the paper.
I donâ€™t really know why I love writing so much, I just do. Thereâ€™s something about putting a story down on paper for friends halfway across the globe to read and understand, about finding just the right word to describe what I can see so clearly in my head, that lures me in like a sirenâ€™s song. Writing makes me who I am.
Maybe I just want to leave my mark on the world, and since I canâ€™t sing if my life depended on it or have the patience to create a majestic work of art â€“ although I am a pretty decent actor, and a guitar recital in my sophomore year permanently rid me of my state frightâ€¦but acting doesnâ€™t seem like the right path for me â€“ Iâ€™ve chosen writing to make a name for myself. Sara B., novelist, journalist, graduate of Columbia University. It has a nice ring to it.