I look at creative writing as one would an old friend. I have many fond memories from my high school years when I spent countless hours in the glow of my computer screen, as I typed out pages and pages of the several ideas that my teenage mind had concocted. Alas, life got in the way in the form of increased workloads at school, having a job, and ultimately starting college. As a result, I have hung up my “writing boots” for a few
years now. Nevertheless, I am excited to get back into writing! I was eager to take Creative Writing this semester because I did miss this, at one time
essential, element of my life. Even though the class has only just begun, I feel myself reflecting on personal experiences that will affect my writing, themes I want to include in my work, and even ideas for what I want to write about.
If one were to view a timeline of my life, he or she would notice that it has not been a typical journey for me. I have had major occurrences happen through the years that have changed my outlook on life and, in due time, how my creative writing will also be. As all great tales open, the beginning of my life is the best place to start. When I was born, I was ten weeks premature. If that wasn’t unfortunate enough, I also had a disease that was so rare, I was merely the eighth case that the specialty hospital I had been transferred to had ever dealt with. The syndrome was called Hemihypertrophy Macroglossia and it affected my tongue in such a way that resulted in me going to speech therapy for years in elementary school to help me assimilate with the other children. Sadly, in third grade, I was informed that I had hit a plateau and that the speech program could no longer help me. All in all, from the beginning, I was different than other children. Although, it has been many years ago and I have learned to deal with my disease, my speech still holds a high level of insecurity for me. Fast forward to my year of seventh grade, when I read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and was inspired to write my own work. Up until that school year, I hated reading, much less writing, and to find a book I actually liked was amazing to me. The way the story was written and the characters that were involved in the coming-of-age plot really resonated with me. It was in that year that I wrote my longest piece to date, a fifty-two page, Times New Roman font, size 10, single-spaced work titled The Outsiders through the Eyes of a Girl. It took me months to complete, but I loved every minute of it! After that experience, I frequently wrote because I actually found it fun to create my own worlds, situations, and characters. For about four years, I wrote with the same diligence, but then I had another monumental occurrence in my life, something that still affects me to this day. When I was fifteen, my personal life took a dive deep into a place I never thought I would be. In my sophomore year of high school, I left my friend group. The people I had surrounded myself with for years were gossipy and deceptive, and I could no longer tolerate it. Although it had taken a significant argument between us to push me, I chose to take a brave leap from being at the center of a secure group to becoming a loner. For months, it was hard to do anything. In school, my desk was by my former friends, so I became secluded during class. In lunch, I sat alone for months, until one person, another outcast, finally joined my table. At home, I would stay inside most of time because there wasn’t anyone for me to hang out with. Friends I had known for years were suddenly no longer in my life, and it was a lonely, dark feeling. I am from a very small town, so there weren’t cliques, but lifelong friendships that felt too hard to try and break into at such a late stage of schooling. Fortunately, the next year, I threw myself into extracurricular activities, made new friends, and things got better. Regardless, for that year, I was a mess, but it taught me the importance of being honest and that integrity is something I would like to hold true to in my writing. This brings me to where I am today. Looking from a writer’s standpoint, my positive experience with writing during middle school and early high school has instilled in me a love of composition that though dulled, has not been extinguished completely. Meanwhile, my malevolent experiences have inspired me to write about things that are real. I cannot write a sugarcoated fairytale, I have to be realistic or I feel I am doing a disservice to my readers. My life has not been picture perfect, but it has made me into the person and writer I am today, and for that, I have no regrets.
The events that have taken place in my life have led me to the themes I would like to involve in my work this semester and in future writings beyond it. First and foremost, I want to convey the theme of overcoming. Life isn’t as easy or blissful as it is often seems to a child or even in some movies and books. Life is a hard, bumpy road, but as Robert Frost wrote, “it goes on.” Through my characters’ experiences, I want to show my readers that though things are tough, they will get through it, and come out stronger. A second theme I want to explore is staying true to oneself, even as one faces adversity. When I wanted to change my actions for the better and stop doing what my friends at the time were, it was difficult. However, I stuck to my guns because I knew what was truly right, and that decision to stand alone has molded me into the person I am today. Although it is challenging to think back to such a dark time in my life, I shudder at the thought of the person I could have been had I stayed and followed the group. My characters will also go through challenges that will force them to make a similar choice of whether to follow the herd or lead it. I feel this theme will empower my readers to make the decision to stand as individuals in their own lives if need be. A final theme I would like to work into my writing is love. It is such a simple word, but it holds so much meaning. Love can cause people to do crazy things, inspire bravery they never thought they had, or stir up a passion that has been lying dormant inside them, just waiting for a chance to be awakened. I want to express love, whether it be
between a family, a budding romance, or even a secret crush. Love is an immensely powerful force that I am only beginning to comprehend. Although I do not have a full grasp of it, and doubt I ever will, I feel the need to express it through my characters and in the stories I write. I want to capture that
essence and spread it on a page with words. Love can never be fully expressed through mere written language, but I would like to explore it to the fullest capacity I can. Themes are a strange topic for me. For years, I did not understand them and loathed doing book reports for the sole reason that there would always be a section on themes. However, being in college, I have come to make amends with themes, and it will be interesting to use them proactively as I write.
The ideas that I have for this semester’s work are both exciting, but also a bit frightening. For the first part of the project, I would like to choose to write
excerpts from a novel. I have had a story idea in my head for quite a long time, but have not yet put it down on paper. I do not want to reveal much of it, but basically, it is about two teenagers, a girl and boy, who, despite theobstacles of their destructive home lives, manage to form a love that they have never known and become successful in life. I have thought so long about this story that I have even come up with a three novel series for it. It feels ridiculous to not even have a throughout story, yet still have so many ideas, but it seems to have happened that way. I want each chapter excerpt to be from a different book, that way I can show variety and character growth. Despite my eagerness to start making my story come to life, I am worried it won’t come together in the way I have envisioned it. However, with hard work, persistence, and help from my classmates through peer review workshops, I hope it will all work out. As for the poems, I don’t have a clear plan for what I want to do. Poetry has always a struggle for me. Even when I used to write, I never penned poems. I feel I can possibly use them to express opinions I have or vent real emotions, but I don’t know how to accomplish it. Hopefully, during the semester I will learn more about the mechanics of poetry so I can feel more comfortable writing it. I also hope that I can practice more poetry writing on the blog because as the cliché goes, practice makes perfect. I know I won’t be perfect, but why not strive for better than average? My ideas may not be fully developed, but I know the foundations I have will flourish into greatness if I work at them.
For five years, the entirety of my writing has been academic. After getting lost in the fast paced trials of life and school, I think it will be nice to sit back and get reacquainted with my former companion—creative writing. It may be awkward at first as we haven’t kept up with each other, but in time we will get back to where we left off. Regardless, I thrive in academia and feel nervous moving away from it in my writing. On the other hand, as it is often said, “Those who never take risks, never succeed,” and I want to succeed, so I have to try.