Tuesday, February 9, 2016

If I Didn't Write, I'd Die

      I have a dream where I'm sitting at a desk in a Books a Million store signing copies of my published book.
      I have a dream where I'm sitting next to Ellen Degeneres on her talk show because she loved my book so much.
      I have a dream where I go into a random book stores and write notes on the inside covers of copies of my book for the reader who buys my book next.
      All writers have these fantasies but this isn't the reason why I write.
Where it Started
      Ever since I was a little girl teachers have asked me if I was going to be a writer because of how lengthy and detailed my stories were. And at that age I laughed because I wanted to be a dog and that was so much more practical then being and author. In eighth grade after a tough move I decided joining a writing club called power of the pen because sports was out of the option and I wanted to meet people. After doing well in tryouts I made it on the team. Like any team you train for games or in my case "competitions." Midway through training I got a nasty concussion and honestly I thought I wasn't going to be able to write. The pains in my head and neck were triggered by light, reading, pretty much anything that required to much thought/processing or movement. Which means writing was off that list. 
     For a few weeks strait I did nothing. By nothing I mean I ate slept and crawled back into bed surrounded by total darkness. I had an ongoing headache. The kind that hurt to bad to cry but hurt to bad not to at the same time. To but it mildly life was tough for a while. As things got slightly better I was allowed to go to school for half days but not to the Power of the Pen practices 2 or 3 weeks before the district tournament. 
      You all are going to think I'm nuts when I say that this never ending migraine only stopped when I slept or wrote but I can't think of how else to put it. For someone who wasn't even supposed to be thinking strait I tied for twelfth place in the district tournament (out of 200 kids). I don't know if it was a miracle, a sign, or mind over matter; either way I'm pretty sure I broke science. 
      Our team as a whole placed first at regionals (850 kids) and me and another girl made it to states. At the end of the competition I placed 274th out of 8,000 of the best 8th grade writers in all of Ohio ...with a concussion. I don't play sports and I'm not part of a quiz bowl team or anything like that so when the results come back and I placed that high I can officially say that was the first time I ever felt a true sense of pride in myself. I'm not saying that I wasn't happy when my teachers complimented me on my manners and high grades because I was and moments came and went in my life before then where I received an award of some sort; but never had I felt such a great sense of happiness and self confidence as I did in that moment.  
      I read somewhere that "every writer has that point in their life where they realize they want to write" and for me power of the pen was that "point in my life." Not to be dramatic but from that point on I realized that writing is a piece if me. 

Reasons Why I Write
I have a story to tell.
      Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Seems to me like not enough of us are telling our stories. Even if your aren't a writer most people have untold stories of their own. For example if you've ever gone to a public place and you see your character in real life then why aren't you writing? Some of you may not understand when I say that random strangers have walked past me and had the same face I imagined "Mary Jane" to have in my story; it's the weirdest and coolest experience in the world. I'm constantly typing lines (or parts of my story) into my phone or writing them down in the journal I've started. I had a dream the other night about the climax in my story. A bloody, intense, and detailed dream. I think at this point I can easily say that this story has taken over my brain. Okay, maybe that's a little extreme; but if I didn't write I truly believe the story would in fact, take over. With that being said I have a story to tell, one that's eating at me; and if I didn't write I'd die.

 This excerpt is from one of my favorite books, 13 Reasons Why. Ironically this quote is one I've chosen from a book that had a great impact on me.Books, poems, songs, movies, any example of literature can have a great impact on someone.  I wrote a poem that made my aunt cry and it made me feel good that something I made could have such an impact on others. I'm not going to lie, making money off my writing would be wonderful but changing peoples lives or making them cry or writing that book people make their children read. That to me is worth more then the money.

Just like exercise in writing can be painful. Writing can be a difficult exercise to maintain. You are forcing yourself to maintain a certain level of inventiveness and imagination over a consistent period of time. Writing can seriously break you, and I am in love with that.
Yes, running or weight lifting can be painful, but there is always a reward. With writing, there is always this reward of improving the more you write. No pain no gain.

It makes me a better human.

Writing improves almost everything about me, and it's not just being better at the practice. Putting my thoughts on paper is therapeutic and seems to ease daily stresses. While I get angry at the people who interrupt me while I write I've become a more understanding person. Even my compassion has greatly improved the more I write, because when done correctly, writing is two-way communication.

You learn.
In the last chapter of my book I knew nothing about a certain topic. After about an hour and a half of research on the topic I was an expert. This is the only time I've looked up something like that before though and as I continue to write I learn not only about new words and topics but about myself. 

It's me.
My writing is reflections of me. My characters, my thoughts, my plot, my writing style, my everything goes into my writing. I purposely put pieces of me into my characters and stories because it adds that authenticity to my writing; something that not every writer has. 

If you want to be technical they're are the rules of the English language but that isn't what I'm referring to. My father likes ducks because their free. They can fly wherever they want and they don't have to answer to anyone. Writing is my freedom. They're isn't anyone standing over me saying you have to write about this or that and no one is telling me how to write it.

I love it. Nothing else to be said.

-Hugs from Hayley

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~Hugs from Hayley