Why I Write

Writing has become something that I truly enjoy and have a strong passion for. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed writing until I got to the 8th grade. I had a history class with some friends, and we all decided that we were going to write a story together one day. One of us would take the journal home, write out a scene or two, and bring it back the next time we had class. We all read the scene while we were together, then someone else would take the journal home and write a new scene. We kept this going until we had a story. After a while, I decided that I wanted to write my own story and see how well it went. After getting so much positive feedback from my friends about what I wrote, I decided that maybe I could actually be a writer.

My story was about a 16-year-old girl who had a crush on a guy, but I didn’t have any other ideas on how to keep it going and interesting. After getting ideas from my friends, my story got a bit complicated. The boyfriend’s mom and cousin don’t like her, the girl’s father and brother don’t like the boyfriend, the girl ultimately gets sent to juvenile, the girl ends up pregnant and has no idea who her baby’s father is. Too much craziness and drama! I never finished the story for several reasons. I didn’t like where it was going because the majority of it was ideas that my friends wanted to see, so it didn’t feel too much like my own. I was 13 when I wrote it, and there were tons of adult content (sex, jail, weapons, etc.) throughout most of it that I had absolutely no clue about. Not knowing anything about these things made writing the scenes increasingly harder. Most importantly, I was growing uncomfortable with the story as a whole and didn’t see it going anywhere.

Fast forward about a year later. I’m a freshman in high school looking for a good book to read from the media center. The lady working at the circulation desk recommends Sharon Draper’s The Battle of Jericho. She says that I just have to read it because it’s so good. I take her word for it and I check it out. Not only was the book good, it was freaking amazing! It was so good that I took it everywhere with me so I could keep reading it. That was the first book that I read where I felt like I had an emotional connection to the characters. SPOILER ALERT! IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK BUT PLAN TO, DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS PARAGRAPH. I grew to love this one character named Josh because of his carefree and goofy personality. He tragically dies at the end of the book and, man, was I shooketh! I literally had to put the book down and contemplate everything about life. Josh’s death affected me so bad, I almost wanted to cry. Turns out that the book was the first part of a trilogy, so I begged my mom to take me to Barnes and Noble and buy me the other two parts (and about 4 more of Sharon Draper’s other books).

After binge-reading all of those Sharon Draper books, it made me think about writing again. It made me think about wanting to write a story where the characters seem as real as the ones in her books. I want a reader to grow so attached to my characters like how I grew attached to Josh in The Battle of Jericho. Most importantly, I want to write something interesting that a lot of people will like to read.

As I got older and took creative writing classes in college, I’ve learned that a good story shouldn’t just be interesting. It should leave the reader with something to think about after finishing the book. It can be attention-grabbing, but it should also have a bigger picture. What does the reader get out of this book? Does it change the reader’s views on anything? What has the reader learned from reading the book? If someone is left fascinated and enlightened after reading a story of mine, I would feel satisfied. This is another reason why I love to write.

I have a big imagination, and I like to show it in my writing. I use writing as a way to escape reality and live in a fantasy world that I can create and control. It’s fun coming up with different characters and giving them all distinct personalities and putting them on cool adventures. These are a few reasons why I absolutely love writing.

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