Waste bin full of paper.
Clever rhymes, see ya later.
These words are my own,
from my heart flow.
— Natasha Bedingfield
I have enjoyed writing ever since I was little.
First grade: Our class got the chance to make our own “books.” We wrote and illustrated our stories on printer paper and once our stories were perfected, we turned them into our teachers and waited. Within a couple of days, our teacher passed the finished products back to their rightful owner. What we received back was a spiral bound, laminated version of the book we had originally turned in. Wow. A REAL book!
I probably made four of them.
Seventh grade: Book making became a whole new ball game. We were given blank hardbound books to do with what we wanted. I worked very hard on mine (even down to the illustrations). I remember looking around at the other kids stuff thinking, “it is like amateur-hour up in here.” I was so proud of what I had created, and could not wait to present to the entire class – you know, show ‘em what was up.
Ninth grade: My very first paper, written as a brand new high school freshman, was entered into a contest. It was a tribute piece remembering those who had lost their lives during the 9/11 tragedy. I remember wanting to take a different angle, I wanted to make an impact. So, I did some research and found the name of a woman whose life had been taken that day. With just a name, I made up this woman’s story. I narrated the crash of one of the planes but from her perspective.
When I won the contest my teacher asked me if I felt comfortable reading my paper in front of the school. Our high school planned to hold an assembly for the one-year anniversary and well, you know how you are at 15, you are fearless. So there I stood, a tiny, just-barely-14-years-old, platinum blonde little girl reading in front of the entire student body and many community members. I cannot remember being nervous that afternoon but what I do remember is having grown women and men come up to me for weeks afterwards just to tell me my story gave them cold chills or brought tears to their eyes.
My story had made an impact.
Eleventh grade: More book making. By this time I had started keeping up with my personal writing. It seemed natural to me to take pieces from my collection and combine them into a “Bridget Jones’ Diary”-esque type of book. I got rid of the Crayons and stuck to a more “interpretive” approach for my illustrations, using magazine clippings and abstract photos. As a 16-year-old high school junior, I spent all of my “free-time” working on my book. To this day, I will pull that book out and read pieces of it.
I spent most of my high school career writing on scrap pieces of paper. If I did not know myself, I would have considered myself kind of odd. Who knows how much time I spent writing down every bit of everything my fingers could manage to scribble on paper. My scrap pieces of paper were covered; literally covered, with words and sayings, thoughts and feelings, prayers and quotations. And college was not much different, although, I did manage to graduate from doctors’ office notepads to a MacBook.
Most of my day is spent articulating sentences just right to maximize the affect my words have on others. Words are a manipulators most valuable tool – with the right words, I can make you believe in anything… and maybe that is why I write
words = power.
Regardless of who we are, or are not, despite our situation, and putting aside all of our differences, I believe everyone deserves to live. And live as in “have life”… not just “be.” It takes millions of things to go exactly, perfectly, simultaneously right for each one of us to be here, to be alive. That means something. Being born means something. If anything, it means we are all some sort of special. The key to turning your “special” into success and ultimately, into a life for yourself, is to utilize your talent for personal happiness first – the praise (and sometimes, lack thereof) should just be encouragement to keep going.
I have won every writing contest I have ever competed in – but I have nearly failed every standardized writing test I have ever had to take.
Everyone I have ever known has told me to never stop writing – yet growing up I was stuck in remedial writing classes to work on my “structure.”
Writing is my talent.
Writing is what I love to do, it is my purpose – my “special” – and a score on a test would never tell me otherwise.
What you should expect: I am painfully aware that my words can hurt. Sometimes my words may bring tears to your eyes or laughter to your heart, but know, my words are always honest and true to who I am. Although I cannot promise all entries will be rainbows and sunshine, my hope is you each take a little piece of my world with you and may it even help you along your way.
Here we go…