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My War With Writing

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In the past year, I’ve tried to write four different novels. I’ve written about things I don’t know about, realizing that it wouldn’t work out. I’ve tried to write a story about something I’m passionate about (a story that I’m currently working on). I’ve even attempted to write an auto-biography. For each one, I’ve created a plot sheet with very meticulous notes about each turn the story will take as well as a character list with each character’s traits written out in an organized fashion.

Parent’s Names:
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Out of all four of these attempted novels, zero made it to level two, or even completed level one. I write for days with the utmost enthusiasm and then I glimpse over it to find myself dragging the little Microsoft Word icon to my Recycle Bin. And the funny thing is that a few minutes later, I start all over.

Now, where has this gotten me? Nowhere.

When I write, my primary purpose is to <i> please. </i> To write something that will blow people away. And each time, my expectations have been crushed. You know why? It’s because I <i> force </i> out the words. Each word in my writing is picked out with such vigilance, yet the effect remains low. When I write, I want people to like it. I’m sure I’m not the only one with that intention. However, what I have learned from YWP is that writing is not about big words that add sophistication or paragraphs that have no meaning. It’s about conveying your emotions with a meaning. Yet, it feels like I haven’t been able to do that. In these past few years with YWP, I’ve learned to be assertive when it comes to being a writer. I’ve learned that writing is an art and even though there’s always something to improve, my art will always be beautiful.

Today, I let myself be discouraged. Today, I let my guard down—that guard that was built with the years of YWP. I told myself I wasn’t a good writer. Is that true?

I have no idea.

I’ve compromised a lot for writing. Earlier this year, my only dream in life was to become a writer (when I started my first “novel”). Lately, the reality of that dream seems dubious. Can I really become a writer? Do I have the stamina or the drive to succeed? I don’t know. Do I want to try? Yes. Other teens my age dream to be a baseball player or an actress (though lately I’ve noticed that the dreams are getting closer to pragmatic) but I want to become a writer. I have no idea where I’ll end up or if I’ll ever change my mind, but what I do know is that right now, I’m trying. I’m trying my hardest to get there.

A couple of years ago, when I wrote something, that sudden awe from my parents or my teachers or my friends was enough to satisfy me, and to allow me to believe that I was a good writer. Today, that satisfaction only comes when some criticizes my writing—tells me to make it better. Because an aspiring writer needs critique, right?

In a few years, we’ll see where fate takes me. We’ll see if all these years spent on YWP will be beneficiary towards a career path, or maybe writing will just be a pastime—an escape from reality.

I’m not sure yet, but I think right now, I’m okay with just figuring out who <i>I</i> am as a writer.

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heyo14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm
 I feel the same way...almost exactly ;D
WRIT3R4LIF3 said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Hey sambo,

I know, writing is hard. I've been tryin 2 write a novel for a couple years now, restarting it over and over again, every time thinking I have it. My advice is: don't give up and don't throw away any start of a story, you may regret it later.

And you ARE NOT a bad writer. No one is. Infact, I would love to see one of your stories; even just one chapter or a prolauge.

Keep writing,


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