Myself as a Writer

March 20, 2009
By Yena Hong BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
Yena Hong BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

'The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.' ' Anais Nin

'The good writer, the great writer, has what I have called the three S's: the power to see, to sense, and to say. That is, he is perceptive, he is feeling, and he has the power to express in language what he observes and reacts to.' ' Lawrence Clark Powell

As a kid, I loved drawing. I would draw as much as time allowed. All I needed was some kind of writing utensil and a piece of paper in front of me, and I would proceed to while away the day, holed up in a quiet corner, drawing by myself, without having to talk to anyone else. (In hindsight, I suppose one may think of this as being more than slightly depressing, but for the purposes of this essay, I'll take a Panglossian view and call it a 'peaceful means of creative expression.') And though I have absolutely no recollection of this now, my family claims that anyone could figure out what I was drawing because I always added speech bubbles to everything I drew, as if the pictures were not adequate enough to express what I was really going for.

My parents thought I would become a successful cartoonist because they thought I had a natural talent in drawing and writing, and because that was what I did all day. I was lucky to have very supportive parents who encouraged me to freely pursue what I enjoyed to do. I never took art lessons; nobody ever taught me to draw or told me to apply writing to my drawings. The writing just seemed to spring up naturally from my pictures.

I stopped drawing and writing in 2nd grade. People say that rebellion and the cry for independence come when one hits middle school or later ' I think my mental puberty came in 3rd grade because that is when I started to dislike talking to my family and when began to speak with a sharp tongue. In place of drawing and writing, I spent my time surfing through the wondrous expanse of the Internet.

This 'literary dark age' lasted about a year. When I switched to an international school during the 4th grade, I found myself liking writing class the most. (Math and science I continued to despise as before.) I finally learned how to write in cursive and I used to love writing in that fancy script. I always liked the writing assignments that asked for our opinions, particularly on topics that were vague enough so that I did not feel limited to what I could write about.

Reading, on the other hand, I did not like as much. However, the teacher came up with a point system where the more books we read, the more points we received. The idea of getting points appealed to me, so I read as many books as I could, such as The Boxcar Children. The books were enjoyable, but still, I just could not seem to voluntarily pick up a book on my own and start reading. A friend once told me about a magazine editor who complained that there are far more writers in the world than readers, and I guess I am part of this milieu too.

At the start of 8th grade, I moved to the States. As before, I hated reading, but I loved writing. Nonetheless, I decided that reading was important in gaining knowledge and new ideas. Still, I thought that there was no point in doing something I clearly disliked, so I would read easy, teenage-girl-y fiction novels from time to time. And when I read, I automatically absorbed the writer's writing style and without noticing, I would use the author's techniques and vocabulary in my writing, giving it a slightly schizophrenic quality.

I realize now that, growing up in a very free environment, writing has always allowed me express who I am as a person. It has forced me to think deeper. Writers can be as imaginative as they want to be; they can make things possible that which is impossible in reality. I find writing rather charming and as a young, novice writer, I hope to improve as time goes by ' to be able to go further and express what I really intend to say.

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