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 Nov. 9 2009 at 10:38 am
Uhm....Do yuh think yuh will keep writin?

Oliviaw BRONZE said...
on Nov. 8 2009 at 5:30 pm
Oliviaw BRONZE, West Cola, South Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Screwed down for life." ---Iowa Bob, The Hotel New Hampshire

I felt after reading this that you need to be more confident. Obviously if you were not a good writer, then your work would not have been put up on this website. Be more confident and show people what you are really make of.

Amanda BRONZE said...
on Nov. 5 2009 at 6:01 am
Amanda BRONZE, Rehoboth, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams. {Hamlet}

Do you think you will continue writing for you?

aivilo SILVER said...
on Nov. 3 2009 at 4:38 pm
aivilo SILVER, Circleville, Ohio
9 articles 0 photos 22 comments
oh, are you kidding? at least give constructive criticism! how would you like it if i read a story of yours, or saw something or yours, and said it was the worst i'd ever seen? does that feel good? no? i didn't think so.

aivilo SILVER said...
on Nov. 3 2009 at 4:34 pm
aivilo SILVER, Circleville, Ohio
9 articles 0 photos 22 comments
YOU ARE AWESOME!! i find it hilarious that some people, even after reading, try to correct your writing and say how repetitive it is. hello! did you even read her piece?!?!?!?

on Oct. 15 2009 at 9:00 am
haana114 PLATINUM, -, Other
22 articles 2 photos 26 comments
a great describes what i feel as well.i don't show my writings or drawings to others much.i dont really understand the reason why though.still,i guess i'll try it now.

on Aug. 31 2009 at 6:09 am
Syahirah BRONZE, Melaka, Other
2 articles 51 photos 28 comments
This is your biography, I would said. The words get into my head without a blocking. I also like you, afraid to shown my works to anyone, but mine are arts. There's lots of them and the only person who saw them only me. After read your article, I want to show it to them. You're brave in sharing your thought about your works. Anyhow, I wish you will be an excellent writer one day. Keep it up.

Zero_K DIAMOND said...
on Aug. 9 2009 at 8:07 pm
Zero_K DIAMOND, Moosic, Pennsylvania
83 articles 0 photos 435 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life's no fun if you're not insane, otherwise you grow up to be an accountant." -Moi

The first paragraph is a little repetitive. Otherwise okay, but rather lackluster. It's missing that certain flair that makes me want to read more.


the xhep said...
on Jul. 30 2009 at 4:33 am
so relatable you have no idea. no idea. wow. you are amazing. and yes, you are a great writer. the words will come to you one day and you will be famous and great.

iWrite GOLD said...
on May. 29 2009 at 3:28 pm
iWrite GOLD, Oneonta, New York
13 articles 5 photos 6 comments
I like this, and yes, it could use work, but it has a good point. You write for YOU. I've been finding myself doing that lately, and for me, when life gets hard, I write about it. I'm the only one who truly understands it but I'm okay with that. That's what writing should be, an expression, something for you. Kudos.

rachell said...
on May. 14 2009 at 7:02 am
Me neither sometimes, trust. But i'm very grateful that they do, and this was never meant to be published or anything, just scrap thoughts. I wasn't planning to do anything with this, but I am glad that lots of people have had the chance to see it and leave some comments. If anyone knows it need work, it's me, but I'm not planning to change it at all or do anything with it.

haber said...
on May. 13 2009 at 4:13 pm
i dont get why everyone likes this

Ideas said...
on May. 8 2009 at 3:16 pm
I agree with ksanton--this could really use some work.

K. said...
on May. 3 2009 at 4:19 am
You know, I think that writing is more than a little like love. It's a rather hideously unoriginal comparison, but the thing is that there's no ownership about it. It's not something that just...belongs to one person, and you never just have a set amount of love to give away.

It seems wrong to yak at you about style and candence. This was a labor of love (ha!) and so I'll just made me happy. Thank you!

Maggie said...
on May. 2 2009 at 7:30 pm
Your words belong to you. They are yours to use and express yourself with. Even though they make us write "papers" with "structure" in school, we don't have to do that always. Maybe someday there will be someone who understands that we have souls that don't want to be bound by their rules of writing. Every heart is full of stories and we tell them as us. Not as them. That is why people are unique.

on May. 2 2009 at 2:04 am
ZebraCough SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
8 articles 0 photos 3 comments
If the wind could rain, I would not be suprised. If the clouds could sing, I would not be suprised. If the sun shone dark and shadows were really light, I would not be suprised. If music can make one cry, and artwork can make one believe,if writing can change people, Rachell is a true author, and she can show the true nature of things. Thus I would not be suprised if she told me the wind could rain. I would believe her. Because a true author can make one believe, cry and change. Amazing Rachell. Truly amazing.

ksanton said...
on Apr. 28 2009 at 3:14 pm
i get that you don't like curriculum and graded writing, but even for a creative piece, this needs work.

on Apr. 26 2009 at 4:18 am
I am a college kid and have been writing since I was two years old. My dream is to be a writer and I have been published a couple times for short stories and poetry but it irks me. I want to write full books and tons of great papers both fiction and non fiction. Writing is my life and is the only way I can express myself since I am autistic and can't speak well in real life because I am nervous a lot. I find teachers have to grade on form and curriculum- most of my teachers like my papers but say I can't get the full A unless it is perfect- college papers are more complex than high school ones. I get a little more freedom on mine though unless it is a research paper. Keep writing!

jane said...
on Apr. 25 2009 at 11:26 pm
i didnt think it was very good.

BiteMe916 said...
on Apr. 22 2009 at 1:30 pm
i thought ni was every tuching and moving