Sophie, Inside and Out

August 4, 2016

Sophie. Quiet. Smart. A good student. That’s what people see when they talk to me. A girl who tries too hard in class, with too much attention to rules.

I am closed. Guarded. That’s what people see. I don’t give away much. I don’t goof off. I only smile, and nod.

They see the perfect daughter of a bespectacled, Shakespeare-loving language arts teacher–the teenage reincarnation, only without the jokes.

I am too focused. Too work-driven.

People are surprised when they found out I’m in Hands for a Bridge, or that I’m horrible at tests, or that I have absolutely no intention of being a professional violinist.

“I never would’ve thought,” they say.

They don’t know me.

I’m Sophie. I like reading and writing and orchestra, as well as discussing idiotic hypotheticals with my friends. I have a strange obsession with purple pens and like to take stalker photos when people aren’t looking, which creeps the living daylights out of them. I laugh uncontrollably when I’m nervous, and once I start, it’s hard to stop. Whenever I’m hyper, my friends think I’m high, but then again, they have no idea what I’m like in front of my sisters.

I have emotional breakdowns when I’m stressed, and I have to force myself to check my grades because I know how badly I did on that one APUSH quiz.

I don’t do well on tests. My hands clamp up, my knees shake, and I overthink what’s right there in front of me. I get scared to play violin in front of other people, even my own teacher. I screw up my recitals. My bow ricochets across the string and becomes a tangled mess.

I have trouble admitting this, even to myself, but I’m judgmental. I’m comparative, and I need to stop.

I’m embarrassed of what I create. There are so many people out there who mean more, say more, and do more. But I can only strive to do what I can, and help others do the same.

More than anything, I want to be a writer. I want to put words on paper, and I want those words to touch peoples’ lives. There are so many things publishers are doing wrong these days, and I want to help change that. In the publishing industry, quantity is valued over quality, and, as a result, the same thing is written over and over and over again. I cannot begin to tell you how mad it makes me when I step into a bookstore and I see fifteen different copycats of the Hunger Games.

Obviously, publishers have no understanding of teens whatsoever. We’re being force-fed all this melodramatic angsty crap that is NO REPRESENTATION OF HOW TEENS ACTUALLY ARE.

Do you know what I want? Relatable characters. Storylines that don’t hinge off of a whiny protagonist somehow being “special”.

My writing reflects as best I can what I want to see in fiction, but unfortunately for me, it’s not angsty enough to be marketable.

But no more words of anger. For publishers to understand me, I have to understand them. It’s the same way for anyone in this world, I believe, and that’s why I do all I can to see the other side.

So who am I?

I’m Sophie. I’m a reader, a writer, a violinist, and most importantly, a human being.

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