The first time i've written for a long time

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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.

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This article has 360 comments. Post your own now!

19SAS94 said...
May 31, 2010 at 11:36 pm
Wow! I love it! I never get A's when I don't use flowery language in English, it's fun for fiction, but non-fiction is always better when it's honest! Very inspiring!
Merry L. said...
May 27, 2010 at 8:44 am
You're too amazing. I could see every facet of you in your words. :) Looking forward to more from you.  
wolfiemoon said...
May 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Amazing, is all I can say. I write because I want everything that I dream of, to be written. If I keep it inside, even my true  feelings, I feel heavy. At night, I put myself to sleep by forcing myself to dream. I dream about a romance, a boy and a girl. Both have things in common, but are very different. I've done this for months. Even daydreamed in class. I want to write it on paper, type it out on the computer. I want it to be like my personal dream journal. I have many idea... (more »)

dreamergirly said...
May 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

Im not the best writer either, or speller. When i write, i feel free.(if that makes sense) I can let my thoughts loose withought a care. Ive shared some of my work with family members, but soon gave up on that becuase they dont truely believe you can write an entire book, or write a new york times best seller. They say ' Good job' becuase if not, they think youell feel bad. they dont listen to what i say, so i express my thoughts by writing a story about a girl like me and is in a similar sit... (more »)

Sevanna said...
May 20, 2010 at 6:11 am
I like writing with flair and sophistication! I feel that when I do, it is my own words, because I happen to be a drama queen who turns everything into a novel in a book, while keeping it true and'd see that if you read a non-fiction story that actually happened to me yesterday. It will be submitted soon! :) This is a really good story, though. Inspirational.
Hannah Y. said...
May 19, 2010 at 10:54 pm
Sometimes i feel stifled by rules, my hand feel cramped and my head aches . My soul desperately wants me to rip up the structered pretty yet meaningless thing that i was forced to write. But i have found a way to put my essence into the things i must write to recieve a good grade. I take the rules, memorize them then use the lighest scoop of them as is acceptable. Instead of  bending the rules i bend the amount of creativity i can use within the rules. It is a challenge but the resu... (more »)
westwardcircle said...
May 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm
I feel so self conscious about my writing, so I never share it - I don't really want people to read it either. I now understand why I don't want them to read it. It's not because I'm self conscious, it's because I put myself in the piece and I am scared to have other people read my soul.
MikeWilhelm said...
May 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm
I don't have words tho describe how true this is
pig,mahlion said...
May 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I've always felt this way, but never have I found a way to express it so eloquently.  I love writing, but I love it for myself.  No one even knows that when they think I'm doing homework or on facebook or whatever, I'm usually writing.  I can't let anyone see it... its like I put myself into it.  I'm scared to put what I think is my best on this site, because I think that my writing is me, and if my writing is rejected, I am dejected.  But most of it is just that the ... (more »)

Rachell replied...
May 17, 2010 at 3:36 am
Thank you so much Eliza (lol, how lameee)! I just re-read my article again after reading your comment, and I'm so glad that you can relate! I'm a little older now and perhaps more thick-skinned, so I would encourage you to actually submit your work here, for use to read. As you can tell from all the soft, beautiful, high, creamy, lovely and gorgeous (I cannot express it enough) comments below that no matter how you feel in school, or no matter what professionals or teachers tell you, SOMEBOBY WI... (more »)
Um...Not_Yet replied...
May 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm
Dude...what you said about writing is so hot. I would like to have a conversation with you
MoonGem replied...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Your very weird, dude. You want to have a conversation with a girl you have never met, a girl you have never seen, a girl who you don't know.................................................

plus you called her dude. :(

StarlightStormcloud said...
May 13, 2010 at 2:04 am
I'm so loving the last paragraph.  It was very witty and I overall really loved this piece.  Your voice is enviable.  
maddielissa replied...
May 30, 2010 at 8:18 am
hey, if you could would you read my first piece? My account is "maddielissa" and its called dear god
JessieBecker said...
May 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm
I believe that EVERY true die hard writer/poet feels the exact same way(:
Thinker replied...
May 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Writing is like music, enjoyed by the writer when it flows smoothly, loved by the crowd when it's new and unique. Just remember, you the one on stage, the one with the tallent, the artist.
dreamergirly replied...
May 20, 2010 at 10:57 am
OMG!! PERFECT way of putting it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IzziB This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm
You just described probably 75% of the people on this site as eloquently as humanly possible, and I loved it.
mickymouseclubhouse replied...
May 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm
I realy like your writing and it is intresting
Liozay123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm
This is a very interesting article.  I've always felt that my English teachers have always had a monopoly over what I've written, too.  I don't like writing for how many words the teacher requires, or what they want me to do, like use appositive phrases in my scentences.  My scentences are mine.  They sound right to me.  And I love imaginative writing.  I haven't really done this since fourth grade, and it really bums me when they tell me we're writing another narra... (more »)
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