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.

Sallad SILVER said...
on Jul. 4 2011 at 2:04 pm
Sallad SILVER, Bismarck, North Dakota
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."- Gandhi

I do that too! It seems to work better because then I don't get caught up in sticking to a plot that makes my writing seem stuffy and boring

Sallad SILVER said...
on Jul. 4 2011 at 2:03 pm
Sallad SILVER, Bismarck, North Dakota
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."- Gandhi

Wow is this eyegood! It's inspiring in a way to be a better (and different) writer. Good job!!

LanceMartin said...
on May. 23 2011 at 2:52 pm

skank said...
on May. 21 2011 at 8:43 pm
yup,i cant agree any more...i dont know why my essay is worse n worse...n my teacher dont give me any suggestions... i wanna say thank to u .what u say just wat i words is a part of me...and im sure i will do better

A_Journey GOLD said...
on May. 20 2011 at 8:09 pm
A_Journey GOLD, Tampa, Florida
16 articles 2 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
The Muse of Poetry should not know that roses in manure grow. ~The Formula, Langston Hughes
You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted ties. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dirt, I rise. ~Still I Rise, Maya Angelou

I feel the exact same way about the structures! Teachers are always saying to start with a plan, organize a beginning, middle, and end and then write. Thats not how I write at all! I write a thousand excerpts,and them piece them together. Does any1 else do that?

on May. 9 2011 at 7:18 pm
Kfuzesi13 SILVER, Someplace, New Jersey
5 articles 1 photo 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right."
-Markus Zusak, The Book Theif

I just want to say thank you. Lately i've had so much trouble sharing my writing with my family and teachers, but not because I was afriad they'd try to change me. Honestly, I wasn't sure why I was so protective and when I can't define how i'm feeling, it just makes me feel worse. Thank you for reminding me that my writing is a part of me and therefore giving it away would be like giving a piece of my heart away.

WOTL said...
on Apr. 26 2011 at 5:40 pm
The author of this work is a true Heroine. With every word that she writes in this letter, she is saving herself.

Saraaa SILVER said...
on Apr. 23 2011 at 2:51 pm
Saraaa SILVER, Concord, California
6 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Take in the starlight, before it disappears..."

Wow. All I can say.

(and the good kind of wow, not the sarcastic kind.)

ArcaneGhost said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 8:41 pm
ArcaneGhost, Hendersonville, Tennessee
0 articles 0 photos 43 comments
Okay, anyways. I like how you express your opinion, and sometimes I wish I had a love and attachment to writing like this.

ArcaneGhost said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 8:38 pm
ArcaneGhost, Hendersonville, Tennessee
0 articles 0 photos 43 comments
Meant to reply to poptart. And this pillowpet person.

ArcaneGhost said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 8:37 pm
ArcaneGhost, Hendersonville, Tennessee
0 articles 0 photos 43 comments

on Mar. 15 2011 at 9:35 am

love it get a pillow pet


poptart said...
on Mar. 15 2011 at 9:24 am
I like to write!

7890jojo said...
on Mar. 14 2011 at 11:10 am
I like this article becasue it is true that your writing is your own and no one can take it away from you.

on Mar. 13 2011 at 1:27 am
nick5330 BRONZE, Centralia, Washington
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
Your writing is yours. books are writing that somone owns but waanted others to enjoy them.

4189best said...
on Mar. 11 2011 at 11:39 am
That is right. If it is yours it is your forever.

Anthony1414 said...
on Mar. 11 2011 at 11:27 am
it was a really detailed and good story.

on Mar. 10 2011 at 12:23 am
-JustDance- PLATINUM, Medford, Oregon
23 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The manner in which we live and that in which we ought to live are things so wide asunder that he who quits the one to betake himself in the other is more likely to destroy than to save himself." ~Niccolo Machiavelli

So let us find the balance.

I would just like to say, I do not agree with you opinion. Though I like the way you commented on the evaluation of structure in an essay on feeling, I felt that if you were to write a paper on feeling it would yeild to structure. But my main problem with this is that it is not that the reader does not know what a sunrise looks like or what walking down a trodden path feels like, its more that you WANT to express to them what the sunrise looks to YOU and how walking the trodden path feels to YOU and if you don't, then what is there to write about? However, I do admire the way you chose to end this. You demonstrated that you do know how to write, you just haven't figured out the why part yet. You've expressed why your knowledge in both writing for yourself and writing for others, think back now to why you wrote for yourself. If it was to express your feelings and opinions, don't you want to express that fully, so that one day you can look back and know EXACTLY what you were talking about because you used writing tools like metaphors and allusions and symbolism and sensory details and hyperboles? If you are going to write, no one is forcing you to use these tools, but tools were made to be used, were they not? I read this almost a year ago and then I felt like I agreed with you, I guess it just goes to show how opinions can change.

on Mar. 6 2011 at 9:59 am
MikkiJeanne SILVER, Loganville, Georgia
8 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Live life as though you would die tomorrow
Learn as though you would live forever..."

I agree this appears as a truley brilliant peice of writing, but if has no peice of you, if it's the words and type of writing an English teacher wants, its not brilliant. It's merely...teacher's pet is the best way to describe it. Be rebelious as far as you can. Write what you feel, the way you feel it. Tell your teacher that they are the words of a future author. Tell her they are written in the stream of conciousness. Yes, keep some structure, but not to where it isn't you. Express your inner feeling of writing, of proving yourself to yourself, of being proud of yourself. I'm not trying to criticize, but if I were in your place, I couldn't be proud of myself. If I had to change to prove myself, I couldn't do it. I'd prove myself to them the same way I prove myself to myself.

on Mar. 1 2011 at 2:19 pm
edgeofnight BRONZE, Buenos Aires, Other
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.”

Truly wow...I have to say that this is absolutely brilliant. I loved it, you are an amazing writer, no matter what your teachers say. This is one of the best pieces I read these past weeks. Above all I loved the irony of the final description, keep it up. 

I felt the same about the stories being mine, showing my true self, which is why I showed so few people my stories, or told them of my ideas. So, I ended up writing only for myself.