I’m participating in the writing contest “How writing has positively influenced my life”, hosted by Positive Writer. This is my essay/entry to the contest. Hope you like it! Since I was a kid, I loved reading and drawing. In primary, instead of playing with the other kids, I’d spend my lunch times in the library. Because of this, I was the “weird” kid compared to my siblings who weren’t exactly enthusiastic readers, let alone writing everyday. When I was in high school, I would sometimes skip eating at interval and go to the library, sometimes to read, sometimes just to be somewhere where I felt safe and happy. It’s kind of like that castle on the mountain that Elsa lived in for a while. What did she say to Anna? “Yes, I’m alone, but I’m alone and free!” I think being in the fictional room of the library felt a little bit like that. Before I talk about how writing has influenced my life, I have to talk about how reading has influenced my life. Books change lives In New Zealand and maybe in America too, there’s this month every year revolving around the motto; “Books change lives”. In the school library, they’d be tons of vouchers on the counter and heaps more hidden away behind the counter. These would only be 5 dollar vouchers, but still, I took a lot and spent a lot of money on books. Nowadays, I’m a bit more smarter money wise, and just borrow books from public libraries. I had invested a lot of money and time buying and reading books and this costed a lot. The library was a good way of reading something and then returning it. I usually only read books once which is something I need to change. Reading has made me become a better reader and most importantly, seeing those books on the shelves, “seeing those books that I’ve read swim in my head, it made me want to write. Wanting to write, let me tell you, is the very first step to becoming a writer. First, you want to write. Then, you become so obsessed with this idea, that you actually sit down, grab a pen and book and start to write. I started with reading, but through reading, I became a writer. Someone once told me, if you don’t see the book that you want to read, that means it hasn’t been created yet.” This was in primary and greatly influenced my decision to create stories, worlds where I made the rules, where anything can happen, where for a few hours, each day, I can escape the restrictions and dullness of this world. It was a lot harder than I had thought. For one thing, when I finally sat down to write, with my pen in my left hand (I’m a leftie), and my 2B8 book on the table, I realised that I had no idea where to start or even how to begin. So I researched and I was a dreamer.
Day dream In primary and intermediate, day dreaming was easy. You just stare out the window and drift into space. But nowadays, it’s very hard for me because I don’t know what to do with my body or what to think. Am I supposed to be relaxed? Am I supposed to think of something in particular? Nowadays, i’m just thinking way too much. But writing has allowed me to put everything I’ve ever seen, felt or heard from my day dreams, into words on paper and maybe one day, in a book form where people can buy and read it. Day dreaming can be hard when you lose sight of your reason why you’re writing in the first place. It can also be hard when you’re “busy”. Listen here, everyone is busy, but you’ve got to make the time to make your realities come true. You have to read and you have to day drem, i think, even if you don’t write. Where the fun, where’s your moxie, where’s your imagination without books and without your dreams? And now, for the writing part of my essay: Writing Back to those thirteen years of school, I was a pretty shy kid. I had a few friends and some of them are still my friends which I’m very grateful for. But in general, I was by myself. Books helped me through this so that I was not lonely even though I was alone. I was able to relate to characters because somehow it was easier to be friends with them then to be friends with real life people. Like Mo in Ink heart, I heard “voices”. When I read the first book of Gone, I had to read the others. When I read the first book of the Cherub series, same thing happened. And now, I hear voices from characters that I came up with, begging me to write their story, because they want to be heard. While this can be pressurising, resulting in total meltdowns and weight gain, I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it is to have my own characters. In a way, to have an imagination. Now, everyone has imagination but not everyone uses it. For me, people want power, money and fame because those are the things needed to be successful. But I believe that imagination in a person’s mind, imagination poured into books, is more powerful than being a president. Right now, I’m working on the latest draft which I started on Monday. I think the reason why I scrapped my previous drafts in the first place, was because I didn’t love what I was making. I didn’t accept that this is as good as I can do before editing and polishing and purposely using those language devices that you have to learn in English class. What came out on paper, what was being played out was pure improvisation, not what i had pictured in my head. That was how the story wanted to go. And I hated it. I didn’t know what to do with it because the story just didn’t make sense, just like a lot of first drafts. There was just no love. But nowadays, I’m learning to love this current draft and what I write in my journal. You have to push through the muddle of despair. I’m also trying my best to love what ever else I create, whether it’s a short story about mice, or a poem. When you love your writing, and you follow your dreams, your muse, you will be able to listen to your self and your body, and take care of yourself in a way that will make you a much happier person in the future. Love yourself, love your writing, and let the words flow out of your finger tips and onto paper.