When I was seven, I assured myself I was going to write another chapter of the Bible. I’d grown up in a Christian school my whole life, and I always wondered why men authored all the books in this holy text. Sure, Ester and Ruth got their own books written about them, but never in their words. Probably because women weren’t taught to write back then. This, however, was the year 2006 and I was a girl who could read and write. I figured if I wanted to write a book of the Bible then I simply should. I didn’t know that’s not how this works. You don’t sit and pray for the words to flow out of your fingers and into the world. When I was seven, I didn’t know writing was hard.
I write because for the longest time no one told me I couldn’t. It was a healthy hobby as far as my parents were concerned. They could brag about my success in writing cliché fanfiction because at least it made their daughter happy.
“A hundred and fifteen people read your story? That sounds terrific!”
In hindsight I suppose most of those views were generated from my own re-reading of the text, but at least I had a new-found sense of confidence. I wasn’t simply reading books now, I was trying to write them. I had goals and dreams to make stories that made people as excited as I was at the time, an age where I tore through young adult novels on the daily. Sure, I struggled to create my own characters, but borrowing some from other authors was acceptable for the time. I felt invincible.
I then hit the wall that is public high school. Now, I had entered the most stressful race of my life as I had to fight my peers for the highest GPA, the best extracurriculars, the most community service hours, and the attention of major universities. The only works I had time to write were pages upon pages of essays to hopefully earn a scholarship. I didn’t win a single one.
I write because I found joy in it once I left high school and embarked on my journey to an English degree. It was my strongest subject throughout my education, I liked to read, and I remembered those days when writing was easy. I figured if I was going to do anything academic, I may as well write.
I fell in love in my creative writing class while simultaneously being brought down a few pegs. Yes, my writing is cheesy. No, it’s not the best. No, it’s not the worst. Yes, I want to make it better.
I push through rejection letters because I believe that I’m still in the prologue of life. I’m young and naive, but a willing student of the universe. Now is the time to be rejected. Now is the time to build muscle mass for the journey ahead.
I am not a great writer. Not yet. I pray, however, that these hours I spend pouring out words will eventually shape me into one.
I write because I want to create something great.