On Writing

For as long as I can remember, I have been a writer. Growing up, I watched my sister passionately write her thoughts and feelings into her journals for hours. As soon as I learned how to form sentences, I began to experiment with different types of poetry, starting with the simple haiku. In first grade, I was fascinated by how versatile a single form of poetry could be. During elementary school, I expanded my poetry to include limericks, diamantes, and cinquains, and began to write short stories. At first, my stories were simple: short, one page stories with a single character in search of something lost. However, the more stories I wrote, the more imaginative I became, and the more I wanted to keep writing. Writing opened the door to a different reality, a type of breathing room where I found that all things were possible and infinite. There were no boundaries; there was nothing limiting me besides myself.


Throughout middle school and high school, I kept journals. Each page I wrote helped me mature in some way. I was writing down my dreams, my aspirations, and my perceptions of life. Writing became a part of my daily routine—if I did not write for one day, I felt incomplete. During my freshman year of high school, I took a creative writing class in which I wrote some of my first sonnets and dialogue stories. My teacher encouraged us to be expressive and to allow ourselves to completely feel what we were writing. I poured my feelings out onto paper when given the chance and I furiously typed my stories on the computer when brainstorming. I had an endless amount of plot lines and character ideas, all waiting to manifest themselves into a story.


In December of my junior year, I auditioned for a program called Arts High, with a concentration in poetry. My instructor was Charles H. Johnson, a Geraldine R. Dodge poet from Hillsborough, New Jersey. He began our audition saying that all people have their own respective poetry, and that it did not necessarily have to include words. Whatever people invest themselves into—that is their poetry. He spoke about how poetry transcends any words sought to define it, and how it keeps everyone in the world alive. It is their muse, their passion, their reason for living. As Mr. Johnson spoke, I thought of how universal poetry was, and how alive I feel when I write. I realized how beautiful poetry is because of its abstractness and ubiquity among people. Poetry is difficult to explain even more difficult to identify, but it rests within every single person in the world in some form. Mr. Johnson's words intermingled with the thoughts in my head, and it was as if I was baptized at that very moment by inspiration forever. Realizing how abundant poetry is, I knew I would never abandon my writing, and never stop drawing inspiration from the beauty in the world.


Mr. Johnson finished his introduction by saying that we all signed up for this audition because we choose to live our lives through poetry. He said he could feel the passion driving our words, though our voices were too shaky to convey it themselves. He told us that regardless of the audition results, we were never to give up on poetry because it never stops giving, and never stops using us to manifest itself. That December morning, I realized how truly blessed I was to be given the gift of poetry.


Writing has helped me mature, and there is not a day I do not write, whether it be in my journal or on my word processor. I find myself in a constant state of inspiration every day—there simply is not enough time to write down all that I would like to, but I see and feel poetry all around me—in the way a runner sprints down my street, in how my sister plays the piano downstairs, in the way the rain hits my rooftop at night. Knowing that the world has an infinite amount of beauty helps me find inspiration for my writing, and when I write, I know that I am truly living.





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