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 Jan. 29 2010 at 9:49 pm
talia_is_happy GOLD, Amarillo, Texas
18 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who mind- don't matter, and the people who matter- don't mind."
-Dr. Seuss

That made me feel rather useless. It was THAT amazing.

grace2719 said...
on Jan. 29 2010 at 5:47 pm
grace2719, Port Washington, New York
0 articles 26 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you love something, let it go. And if it comes back, you can eat it"

lovely, and what a cute ending :o)

on Jan. 29 2010 at 11:51 am
bookworm75 SILVER, Monticello, New York
5 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Teachers open the door, you enter yourself"

I love your writing. It inspires me a lot. Either though i had gotten all A's in High school, A letter can not represent your own writing. lol love it! keep up the gopod work! you have succeded. In

on Jan. 22 2010 at 8:59 pm
StevImagenary SILVER, Amarillo, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
One smile can bring joy to everyone you see.

Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh i feel like a horrible writer now!!!!!!!

on Jan. 20 2010 at 3:11 am
sydney_hope GOLD, Round Rock, Texas
15 articles 0 photos 55 comments
This is AMAZING. You just inspired me to start writing again...for myself. :)

on Jan. 19 2010 at 12:37 am
ElizabethBlack PLATINUM, St. Louis, Missouri
40 articles 7 photos 15 comments
You have beautifully summed up my feelings about school: how grades show nothing. How smart or creative you are cannot be represented by some letter. You can get straight A's but still not be able to write, or have the skills to solve a problem.

on Jan. 15 2010 at 7:41 pm
I am an aspiring young writer, and I thought I'd let you know that when you say "And, in asking that you never write a paragraph like the final one again..." It hurts. I'll you the metaphore of my clothes and me.

I have a sporty style that isn't in, but I like it. I also like the feminin style and it feels like me as well. Unfortunaately, after too many years in sporty style, people tell me not to change. So, I urge to experience different style, but I feel somewhat "guilty" doing it.

Giving him the instructions not to write like that is the same as telling him to write like some other thing.

Sorry if this comment sounds rude, It just hurt me from his point when I read yours.

My apologies again,


Nelle:) said...
on Jan. 10 2010 at 10:35 am
Nelle:), Meriott, Other
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
'The danger here is that eccentricity will become standardised, predictable: something to be labelled and bottled' Vogue

You have literally just summed up the world and surprisingly given me the biggest urge to write - not for someone else. But for me. Of course :) Really, really amazing, and so refreshing!!

lordmanfred said...
on Jan. 8 2010 at 12:21 pm
O Rachell,i can sense the spark of the next Oscar Wilde in YOU! have won my jealousy!!

shhh19 BRONZE said...
on Jan. 7 2010 at 6:31 pm
shhh19 BRONZE, Warren, New Jersey
2 articles 5 photos 5 comments
Your writing style is so unique and was so refreshing to read. It wasn't filled with those annoying run on sentences that totally lose me. I love your conciseness, and that clarity and terseness really emphasized your point. Great job!!

on Jan. 7 2010 at 6:04 pm
That was very powerful. I agree, people should write for themselves, not for what other people demand. Keep up the fiery spirit and keep writing!

Gogol said...
on Jan. 6 2010 at 6:40 pm
Against all the expectations I came in with when I saw that this was an essay about the urge to write and the things we do to it-- you made this hurt.

And I congratulate you for it.

I'll join the others in asking that you keep writing. And in asking that you never write a paragraph like the final one again, because it cut something open inside me.

_NoAir_ BRONZE said...
on Jan. 6 2010 at 6:24 pm
_NoAir_ BRONZE, Toronto, Other
4 articles 1 photo 463 comments

Favorite Quote:
There are as many ways to live as there are people in this world. Each one deserves a closer look.

–Golly (Harriet The Spy)

oh my gosh this piece of writing is just full of feelings! keep it up!

-a future writer myself

on Jan. 6 2010 at 5:46 pm
wombatz-rule GOLD, Montrose, Minnesota
15 articles 0 photos 53 comments
Holy cats.

This is crazy good.

For some reason, even though I've felt and heard these feelings before, that writing should not be a curriculum, but taught as a piece of each and every being, you actually MADE me read this. I could not stop and I was enthralled by your words. You made every word seem true and I found that I had to listen to you.

You are a true writer. Absolutely. To be brave enough to share a piece of work like this, even after you said that sharing writing is like giving up a piece of you--wow.

Congratulations. I know you will be absolutely famous one day.

on Jan. 6 2010 at 6:53 am
HopelessDreamer, Sharjah, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
This. This is everything I've felt about my writing. This is everything I've experienced with my teachers ABOUT my writing.

Your writing is absolutely brilliant. I love this piece.

Keep penning! For yourself, especially.

on Jan. 5 2010 at 7:17 pm
elvinchangling55 SILVER, Malverne, New York
6 articles 0 photos 50 comments
i absolutely love it!!! by huge coincidence I was just complaining about how my english class restricts the flavor and texture of writing. I'm glad many people feel similar.

s345ks said...
on Jan. 5 2010 at 6:12 pm
This article was beautiful!

Keep writing!

aliasunknow said...
on Jan. 5 2010 at 4:05 pm
I really love this article! I agree with it 100%. School, in my opinion, really does make kids think very directly about things, no other or creative ways will do. School makes students follow guidelines on how to write the "perfect story or essay", which destroys all the creativity, or uniqueness that you could possibly get from writing. Thank you for writing this. I love it!! <3 :)

on Jan. 5 2010 at 3:16 pm
I feel you so much on this

sometimes its like the education system takes creativity and boxes it forcing everyone who thinks outside that box to mold...but don't ever give into a life you don't want, no matter what money it brings you

on Jan. 5 2010 at 2:41 pm
JChang504 BRONZE, Katonah, New York
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch

The last paragraph was a nice touch. The rest was a little fuzzy, but I think I see what you were trying to convey.