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 Oct. 30 2012 at 7:03 pm
one-thing-you-never-put-in-a-trap BRONZE, New York, New York
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
And being young and full of folly, I fell in love with melancholy.
-Robert Frost
(It's not really personal but I like it)

Awesome! Definetly agree with alot of things said here. There is a big culture of B.S. writing in my school, basically kids just write what they know the teacher wants to hear with out puting in any thought or emotion. I also totally feel the same way about your writing being a piece of you. Usually I don't want to share my writing because I don't want people to see that other side of me that I don't usually show.

serqio BRONZE said...
on Oct. 1 2012 at 11:31 pm
serqio BRONZE, Baldwin Park, California
4 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
dont be average, be different

just brilliant. everything, i dont even know what to say? the conclusion was amazing.  

on Jul. 7 2012 at 12:07 pm
LongLazyDays55 BRONZE, Other, Other
3 articles 0 photos 94 comments

Favorite Quote:
I haven't failed. I just haven't found 10,000 ways that won't work. [Thomas Edison]

When words fail, music speaks.

I like your writing very much. It's pretty much the same here (over the pond)! I've just finished my first set of exams and in English we never seem to do anything 'fun'. We're always focused on exam techniques and work,work,work. Thanks for sharing that piece of writing. It was amazing! Keep writing!!

on Jun. 5 2012 at 9:53 pm
RoseAndThorn BRONZE, Mena, Arkansas
1 article 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Find out what's really out there. I never said to be like me, I say be like you and make a difference. - Marilyn Manson

Excellent writing, in voice, emotion, and writing skill. This piece is an exact replication of how I feel in my own classes for writing. I hate that people are often formed into machines just to satisfy the system. And your writing voice is deep! Don't lose your love of writing, this piece is a favorite of mine.

on Mar. 30 2012 at 12:44 am
unknownaccount, Yolo City, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I enjoyed reading this. My mum homeschooled me for this reason. She told me that writing and learning should be fun. However, I do not agree with your view on structure. I believe some things need structure, to keep them from falling. Anyway, great piece!

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Mar. 23 2012 at 6:59 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

I agree. This article was really good. I must say, I think of myself as a good writer, though only a few people have told me that, and I want --but don't want-- people to read them. I don't really show them to anyone, and so they sit, stagnant and dull, until I resurrect them once again. Which is why I joined Teenink.

on Mar. 8 2012 at 8:22 pm
GraceMadison BRONZE, Bedford, New York
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What lies behind us and what lies before us, Are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us"

Absolutely loved reading this piece. Your writing has a very impressive and assertive voice. 

Blairezie GOLD said...
on Jan. 1 2012 at 4:42 pm
Blairezie GOLD, Montrose, Colorado
18 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You must never give in to despair. When there is no hope, you give yourself hope. That is the true meaning of inner strength." -General Iroh

The Picture of Dorian Gray was awesome. And I feel the same way about English. Emily Dickenson wrote some of the greatest poetry ever written and knew nothing about grammar or spelling. And none of the greatest, most ground-breaking writers ever followed the set structure of those before them. That's what made them great.

on Dec. 31 2011 at 10:31 am
butnowamfound BRONZE, Richardson, Texas
4 articles 1 photo 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
Psalm 73:24-26
Your wisdom will be my guide, and later you will put me in a place of honour. Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I have no desire for anything on earth. My flesh and my heart are wasting away: but God is the Rock of my heart and my eternal heritage.

Romans 10:14-15
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? ....That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

I recently expressed very similar feelings about my English class to my Aunt who is a writer. After listening to my complaints, she told me to view the structure as a new level of challenge. Anyone can write what they want, about what they want, and people can also write in structure. But to combine them both, althogh some pleasure is lost, brings one to a new level.

on Dec. 12 2011 at 4:51 pm
Silencewillfall PLATINUM, Blacksburg, Virginia
37 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I think we should put some mountains here, otherwise what are the charecters going to fall off of."
-Laurie Anderson

This is simply incredibile!  I can see my own frustrations with my English class in this piece. 

on Nov. 22 2011 at 7:33 pm
--LoveHappens--, Fairfield, Connecticut
0 articles 0 photos 342 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A friend is someone who knows you, but loves you anyway"

Wow is all I can say.... that really makes me thing. I have the same sort of thing. I consider myself an okay writer and I love to do it. I write my memories, stories of my wishes and dreams and just like you said they are little pieces of me, each and every one. I don't share them too often because I don't want to give them up to anyone else. I think you make a good point here: that school ruins our writing skills. they try to help us but in the honest truth you could be a horrible writer and get an A if you do what the teacher wants. The whole concept is pretty stupid if you ask me. Great job... really make me thing and is very relatable

on Nov. 1 2011 at 6:40 pm
mourningstar13 BRONZE, Mansfield, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"The old law of an eye for an eye just leaves the whole world blind." -Ghandi

It almost makes me sad just how much I relate to everything you've written. Not just with English, but the way you write and the way you felt about a lot of things, it's like reading a bit of myself...I haven't written in a long time, either, by the way. It feels like I never have time to just sit down and lose myself in words.

And I did catch what you did there at the end, by the way. That segment about the rain was to show the structured way your English teacher makes you write, right? It seemed very formal, and the words chosen to impress-the way I'd write something for English. 

Along with that, I see no other reason why you'd start talking about rain...

on Oct. 22 2011 at 10:45 am
JillianNora SILVER, Forest Park, Illinois
8 articles 2 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." -1 Timothy 4:12

I agree. With the whole, unspoken way you said that school teachers are taking the things we love and turning them into work we don't want to do. I hope you find your love for writing again.

on Sep. 15 2011 at 11:07 am
Fangstorm_The_Vampire GOLD, Tehachapi, California
15 articles 1 photo 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's a bird!
It's a midget!
NO. it's...... EDWARD ELRIC.

I normally write stream-of-consciousness. And yeah....another thing..... why do i have to put my name on a sheet of paper that's TWICE STAPLED TO A SHEET WITH MY NAME ON IT

on Sep. 15 2011 at 11:04 am
Fangstorm_The_Vampire GOLD, Tehachapi, California
15 articles 1 photo 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's a bird!
It's a midget!
NO. it's...... EDWARD ELRIC.

YEAH! KEEP TRYING! I'm just a kid but I've worked hard and made a ful 100 page manuscript! Just persevere! Check out tips from other writers, learn what style you like, nd by the way i dont care how sucky you thinkk your writing is, this is BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN! Just read the first chapter of Twilight. Then you'll feel good about yourself.

ANNAofCCC said...
on Sep. 8 2011 at 1:57 pm

oh my gosh this rocks.... you tell how you feel, you show them hows boss. i hopeyou become the writer you hope to be one day.


on Aug. 10 2011 at 12:27 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 389 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

...Words cannot describe how amazing this is. So I'm just going to be lame and say: this is really, really amazing! :P I'd give this 50 stars if I could.

on Aug. 10 2011 at 12:25 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 389 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

^ Non-sequitur of the day! :D

jenna-e said...
on Jul. 25 2011 at 12:08 am
jenna-e, Fremont, California
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I think this is amazing. It's honest and passionate; I didn't dare to stop reading or start skimming this piece, despite the fair length. You have a great voice. :)  

on Jul. 24 2011 at 7:23 am
Me_Music_Love BRONZE, Indianapolis, Indiana
1 article 6 photos 8 comments
Brilliant. Pure Genius.