When I read interviews of authors I admire, they always talk about how they “always knew they wanted to be a writer.” They talk about the stories they used to write anywhere and everywhere, ever since they were little. And I love stories like that, I really do.
But I am trying to be a writer, and when I think back on it… It was when I was 13 or 14 that I got the writing bug. THAT’s when I started planning stories and writing with friends and writing on school bus trips by the light of my iPod. I always (and this is where my self-doubt comes in) wondered why I didn’t start sooner. Would I be a better writer if I had started sooner? Can I be considered a writer if I didn’t start sooner?
There was a period of my life where I didn’t write. When I was in the 5th grade, I failed some state standardized writing test we had to take (Have I mentioned I hate standardized tests?). They made my mom do writing workshops with me. They threatened to put me in remedial writing classes, even though I was in advanced reading classes. I remember feeling embarrassed and awful that I wasn’t a good writer. I remember the sick feeling in my stomach that gave me. It wasn’t until 7th or 8th grade that I was able to pick up writing again.
This week (it’s spring break, weeee!), I was helping my mom clean out my old bedroom when I stumbled upon it. The evidence that maybe I have always been a writer. In the top drawer of my old dresser was stowed away autobiographies, reports, silly stories about my friends and made-up characters, and newspapers that I created (about the solar system, about trips to grandma’s house), all written before that terrible 5th grade test. I had forgotten all about them.
And I wish I had taken pictures to post here. My silly stories with my terrible handwriting.
I know it’s dumb, to find this kind of thing validating, but it’s nice. It’s nice to see how far I’ve come and how far I have yet to go.