The first time i've written for a long time | Teen Ink

The first time i've written for a long time

November 1, 2008
By Rachell Li SILVER, Sydney, Other
Rachell Li SILVER, Sydney, Other
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

As soon as you write something down, it is yours forever. And, if you wanted to, you could show someone else, so they could keep it too. But really, it is yours forever. If anyone ever wants to take it away from you, all you need to do is remember and to remind them that, it is yours forever.

When I was younger, around ten, when I still believed that there was a chance of doing what I wanted whenever I wanted for an entire lifetime, I wanted to be an author. It seemed liberating in a strange way, like somehow one person could tell another a wonderful story that was inspiring, humorous and sorrow stricken but not know. How could you affect someone that much and not know?

So, I wrote my own stories. They were short and they were terrible. I never showed them to anyone because I was not proud of them. I thought they were terrible. But, I loved writing them all the same. I didn’t know too many words and the ones that I did know were spelt incorrectly. I was and will always be a terrible speller. So I wrote my short fault ridden books and told no one. All I told them was that I wanted to be an author. The only story I ever wrote and shared was about a dog I did not know, did not care about and did not invent. His name was Fly and I thought he was good enough because I had seen him on TV. I didn’t even change his name.

Six years later and I share my stories. They are ones about boys with eating disorders, girls who follow strangers and kids that know more than their parents. Excuse me, but I have a mould to break. Sometimes my teacher says, ‘Rachell, this is really not what we are looking for, are you sure you understood the question?’ I shake my head but I actually did. So she smiles and is willing give me another chance. I take that chance but I hand in a piece of paper next time. There is nothing of me on it.

Oscar Wilde is my favourite writer and I have all his books, all his poems and all his plays. I haven’t read all of them and I think I really need to. But I still don’t, because I am scared I will not like him as much after. I have read ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ though. I made it out to be better than it actually was because I saw a review in the paper and it got four stars. However, there is one thing I remember about that story, and it is when the painter, Basil felt that he could not sell his painting, nor could he let it hang in a gallery, because he felt that he had simply put too much of himself in it.

It wasn’t self-consciousness. If that were the problem, he would not paint as well as he does. Painters are brave because they know that anyone can paint and yet they do it. This is how I see writers. Anyone can write. They impress no one, maybe except themselves. Yet they do it. As a ten year old, I did not feel the need to impress anyone, so I wrote for myself. I could not show anyone my stories because I knew that they were small pieces of me. The stories were about boys named Jack who played football and sheep who lost their mothers. My name is not Jack, I have never enjoyed playing or watching football and I am certainly not a sheep. Yet, they were me.

Rejection wasn’t an issue. I was too young to know that people are always polite and too old to think that I was always right. I was reluctant to share because I only had so much in me, I couldn’t afford to lose it to anyone, not even my mother or father, or anyone who would not understand.

Now I write for numbers. Hopefully numbers that will ensure an A. If the numbers are not as high as I would like them to be, which they often are, my spirit does not suffer, I am just disappointed. I do not feel sick because of the pointlessness of the exercise. I am sick because I am failing English.

Of course I do not want to fail so I write as many words as they ask me and I hand them in with no problems. In the very beginning I had some reservations, but now it comes easily, naturally, on a weekly basis. On the piece of paper is not something I wrote with my hands, it is constructed with a ticking machine, by a machine.

For school I wrote a story about how I felt and my teacher gave a worksheet on structure. She said that structure was important and that there needs to be certain sequences, descriptions and lots of showing-not-telling. I knew all of this because I listen in class so I will not fail English. But I was weary. I never thought life had anything to do with a set sequence, I never felt the need to tell someone about the sunsets and the dirt roads because I thought that surely they knew. Had they not opened their eyes on a new morning and had they never walked a trodden path? I had no intention of showing them anything because they would never understand, understand that I have something to say and they are going to ignore it. I had no faith in anyone else and I am tired and selfish.

In short, I was a terrible writer. But, I wrote for myself. The stories were real and the words were me. It amazed me whenever I looked down the page and I understood what they meant and I hoped so dearly that others would too. But, I learnt that they did not want to understand, they wanted requirements met and a showcase of several different sentence structures. They wanted flair and sophistication. I just wanted people to understand that I am tired, but I am true.

Someone I admire went through art school and said that he had lost all desire to create any art. When I write a story, I do it because I am instructed and because I am not all that bad after all if I just follow orders. This year, I wrote a story about a ‘making choices’ and I was sure to include a character description, vivid imagery and to use words that not even I understood. I got an A and the teacher was glad I was making an effort.

I write because I have to and no more. This scares me. My own words are no longer part of me. We do not talk. We never fight. And I feel we understand each other less and less. They are not mine; they are my English teacher’s.

But I am old enough to know that I do not want to abandon this because it would mean abandoning not just a little sliver, but a whole slice of myself. I cannot afford to lose so much after everything else because there will be nothing left and one day I will wake up and feel as if I am only doing things because I have to. I will never be uncomfortable, because no one will ever see me and I am just another girl who succeeds but without a mind and without any intention otherwise. I never wanted that.

Oh. By the way, today it rained and the soft, soothing drops of sky are once again beginning to fall. I know this because though my heavy velvet curtains are drawn, I can hear the familiar echoes of water sliding down the foggy windowpane in no particular hurry. I cannot see them, but I can imagine the trails that the leave, like the trails of the buzzing insects in the trees. If I stop long enough and breathe in slowly, I can sense the rich aroma of the worms doing their job and turning earth. I have always had a keen sense of hearing and smell. My hair is an unforgiving melancholy brown.

The author's comments:
I really do love my English teachers, i do. I just wish i understood that school and life are different. But don't worry, she has told me that now. She told everyone.

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This article has 360 comments.


on Jan. 5 2010 at 2:29 pm
itscomplicated PLATINUM, Boxford, Massachusetts
20 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The best way out is always through." -Robert Frost "I think, therefore I am." -René Descartes
"Life is never easy for those who dream." -Robert James Waller

wow. that was amazing. sorry to be frank, but there is only one more thing I can think of to say:

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him"

-David Brinkley

Congrats on a wonderful piece! In my mind, you have succeeded. = )OOO( =

on Jan. 5 2010 at 10:52 am
despurlock DIAMOND, Morgantown, West Virginia
79 articles 0 photos 179 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The heart has its reasons which reason does not know." -Pascal, Pensees, 1670

I really, really, really love this, its great! And I know I'm one of many who can relate b.c everyone is victim to the heartless essays that plague schools today, and its hard to differentiate the words you want ot use (like the ones from your heart) with the ones that you should use. This is a great piece and beautifully captured! <3 despurlock <3

on Jan. 5 2010 at 10:45 am
SilverLuna SILVER, _________, Washington
8 articles 0 photos 229 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Come fairies take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.".... W.B. Yeats.
"Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams

I liked this piece so much, because--like others said before me. I can realte so fully to this concept. Putting words down in a creative manner is so much more than just "sand-wich style" paragraphs. When i write for myself, i use incomplete sentences (as often microsoft word tells me), i think this was a great piece!(=

tech1 said...
on Jan. 5 2010 at 10:33 am
When I read Rachel's last paragraph, I smirked because I knew what she was trying to say...That using similes and metaphors, and "descriptive language" is what her teachers had been cramming down her throat year after year. Teachers believe that writing in this style makes for a proficient or advanced piece of writing....Rachel proved that is doesn't...Writing from the heart about something that has meaning for you, is what makes good writing; and for anyone reading the piece. if it evokes emotion in you, either because you can relate to the message or disagree with the message....this is what makes for a great piece of writing.

MatthewZ said...
on Jan. 4 2010 at 8:15 pm
nice! look at my poem plz? http ://www.teenink .com /poetry/free_verse/article/156195/Airplanes/ rate and comment plz! thanks a million!

Rachell li said...
on Jan. 3 2010 at 12:44 am
Hey guys, I know you probably wont read this, but to all those who have commented saying that they related, thanks so much for your support! I re read this for the first time in years, and it did not make me laugh, it made me smile :) And so do you kids who believe that there is hope for us. You guys pretty much rule <3<3

Ali.B GOLD said...
on Dec. 28 2009 at 7:57 pm
Ali.B GOLD, Lexington, North Carolina
10 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
I write whatever flows from my fingers- AJY

It is quite true that the school system is flawed. They want you to write in black and white. They dont understand that by doing this they ruin young, vibrant, thoughts. They kill any spark that forms a writer. They kill insperation by making you force up words about school, descion making, and the enviorment. Only to make us want nothing more than the ability to write like those who amaze us. Write your heart. If you dont you will do the unthinkable. You will loose yourself in what society wants us to be.

booklover08 said...
on Dec. 19 2009 at 8:23 pm
WOW. I completely loved this and i think that you're an amazing writer. I smiled though some of this because i could relate. i could understand. and i love that you gave thsi piece of yourself to us. to me. i really loved thi and i think that it's one of my favorites. I loved how at the end you wrote how we are suposed to write in school. it shows i don't know but i thought it was funny because i liked all the other paragraphs way better.when you wrote what you think and feel and what happened instead of confining your writing. btw this piece of writing is amazing and i loved it very much! please write more.....!!!!!

on Dec. 17 2009 at 1:04 pm
JRudnicki SILVER, Lewisburg, Ohio
6 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My life is my message." -Unknown

This is really inspirational. It really is.

Wow.

on Dec. 10 2009 at 4:22 pm
Emily555 BRONZE, Virginia, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
Winners practice until they get it right. Champions practice until they can't get it wrong.

Um, wow... If someone thinks that you are not a good writer, then Charles Dickens was an amateur author. That was great! I think you should be getting an A+ in English class. And you're right. A writer should write because he or she wants to, not because he or she is forced to, because that ruins the whole point. A story is something that comes from the heart, not from a person assigning you an essay. Keep up the good work!

Andrnick said...
on Dec. 9 2009 at 9:49 pm
Amazing,

I do the same thing and correct my writing while reading a good book.

I mean when I write I'm filled with hope and fantasy like if a little world exsists out there where all my ideas come from and written upon the paper.

on Dec. 6 2009 at 3:22 pm
That was really good.

on Nov. 25 2009 at 5:37 pm
FlyleafFreak DIAMOND, Loveland, Colorado
51 articles 0 photos 203 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have faith in fools;self confidence my friends call it"~Edger Allan Poe
"In this world of infinite insanity, your friends are the best psychiatrists you will ever have."~Me

Hey, I want you to know I give this 5 stars and I would give it more if I could. You have hit the nail on the head about so many writers. Yes, structure is important in some things, but writing is writing. I have a Lit. teacher who told me that there is only one rule to really writing is that anything is acceptable. You have tremendous talent and I really hope you continue writing! Never stop. <33 infinity

on Nov. 24 2009 at 11:08 am
u should write more. Amazing!

btw..how do get a space in your screen name?

maki:p GOLD said...
on Nov. 24 2009 at 11:04 am
maki:p GOLD, Rocklin, California
17 articles 1 photo 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only journey is the one within" and "You can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped."

You said that you were a terrible writer. But you are not anymore. Staying true to yourself is a hard thing to do and I admire you for making the effort you do. We all write what our teachers want us too, what is important is that we write for us too. You are a good writer; you just have to believe it sometimes.

on Nov. 23 2009 at 7:44 am
dramaqueen_467, Amsterdam, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I honastly think you should write more you are a good writer.

kpf1991 said...
on Nov. 21 2009 at 11:35 am
kpf1991, East Hanover, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 13 comments
This is nothing short of amazing!!! could you possibly look at my piece "Close to THE END" ? I would appreciate your input

on Nov. 11 2009 at 1:39 pm
Alex Kannenberg BRONZE, Dell Rapids, South Dakota
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments
You should keep writing. In this piece you mention you're a terrible writer, it doesn't seem like that to me.

on Nov. 11 2009 at 1:32 pm
:)Corynn! BRONZE, Dell Rapids, South Dakota
4 articles 0 photos 6 comments
I liked this article. I thought some of the things that you said in there totally made sense not only to you but to many. Words can definately be a powerful thing so keep on writing!

on Nov. 11 2009 at 1:31 pm
IizFrozen SILVER, Dell Rapids, South Dakota
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
~Its not how deep you fish~
~Its the motion of the ocean~

~I hope to die like my grandfather who died in his sleep~
~and not like the pasengers in his car who went screaming~

Nice article