-----This was my essay last semester for Eng1. It amazingly got a good grade and with this essay. . . I get to pour out all the contents of my heart. . . So,
Why indeed do I write?
I have a secret.
It is what Lord Voldemort had been looking for all his life. Why, he was after the Sorcerer’s Stone and why he split his soul in seven. I would gladly laugh at his noseless face right now and inform him that I have known the key to something he would split his soul to know. However, the answer did not enter my thoughts as naturally as Harry Potter usually does. It came as a defining moment; one that only came once but will not depart from my thoughts.
As a child, I have dreamt the usual fantasies every little girl had. At five, I dream of being a beautiful and envied princess living in large castles with beautiful gowns at my disposal. At seven, I want to be a rich and talented singer similar to Avril. Oftentimes, I practice my walks with my arms bent and swinging on my sides like how she does it in a complete outfit. At nine, I feel like being a doctor, not because of the typical reason of helping people get better rather they earn a lot from patients just like how my doctors earned from me when I was hospitalized back then. At eleven, I envision myself as an accountant. I heard one of my friends saying the same thing and we share the same passion for mathematics, which magically disappeared when I learned Trigonometry. When I was twelve, I was an ardent reader so I fancy being a librarian.
Silly past lives; that is how I called these dreams before. Looking back, I can see how these dreams develop to the very thing I want to do. It came one night when I was thirteen. I remember it being a school night. I generally read non-school related books on such nights despite the fact that there is a huge pile of homework waiting to be done. However, that particular school night, I realize that there are no more books left to read. I finished all of them, and I did not feel like rereading anything so I opt to read a Reader’s Digest issue dating years back. In its section ‘Quotable Quotes’ lies the secret: If you want to be immortal, write a book. – Anonymous
It did not make any sense at first. But then, it dawn on me that immortality is not only living a life everlasting. Shakespeare is immortal. He constantly inspires numerous people with his works. He is frequently celebrated; his thoughts interpreted. He, alongside Twain, Frost, Poe, Austen, Bronte, Orwell, Dickens, Dante, Homer, and a lot more, is immortal. However, it will be hilarious if Voldemort became one of them.
Minutes pass by; ideas are already forming inside my head. This must be it. What I am meant to do all along. I have no desire to cheat death or be famed. But the fact that something of my work - something done with my own hands, ideas straight from my guts written in paper, being read by many people, being interpreted, and its ability to touch lives even after I would depart from this mortal realm, those were what appealed to me. Perhaps a little fame would not hurt. I could do being the next J.K. Rowling and creating the next Harry.
I am eager to start right away. Every night, I indulge myself in the world of a woman named Kathy who is bound to change Daniel, a man of antagonistic character. In time, Emma, who loses her parents in a car accident and discovers a grave secret hidden for years when sent to live with her grandmother, was created. Every so often, I would switch back and forth in Kathy’s and Emma’s stories; my two heroines. I try to squeeze writing with my schoolwork. That was my refuge. For once, my parents did not complain about my obsessive reading for it seemed that each night I was busy with homework. It is a very engaging activity. Not long after that, I began planning. After high school, I will take a degree in Creative Writing and graduate. I will look for a writing job while continuing to work with my characters. Throughout all these I will send copy of my manuscripts to publishing companies to get publish and then, die happy. I could readily see myself in the future years living up these dreams until my brother found out what I was up to.
I was always discrete when writing. I was quiet. I occasionally glance up when I grope for the right words. That was when he became suspicious. Like many older brothers, he always picks on me. He first pointed out that I was always writing on my red notebook despite the changing pile of school books around me. I was mortified. I started to be more careful but he soon gotten hold of my writings and laughed about it.
What do you expect to happen? Get published? His words put millions of thoughts in my mind. What indeed do I expect to happen? Who am I kidding? A thirteen-year old getting publish and famous for her work on star-crossed lovers? Even experienced writers find it hard to impress their readers. What chance could a child like me have? What do I expect: being acknowledged right away?
I want to cry so badly. In fact, I did. My dreams are being shattered in pieces right in front of my eyes. That night, I locked my red notebook away. Writing might have been a routine for me but I force myself not to do it anymore. I could not blame my brother. He just asked a question: a question so simple that opened up my once determined mind and at the same time gave me an unsettling emotion. I did my all to prevent myself from writing another word in that notebook.
I went back to reading. Encountering a great debut novel by a rising author leaves me feeling forlorn. For years, I never come across Kathy and her friends as well Emma and her ancestry. Instead, I delve in Bella and Edward’s world. I reread every novel in our house. Once, I was required to write a short story for my English class. I did my best to impress. I found out that I never lost my knack for it though the loss of my usual enthusiasm for it was unmistakably there.
In next to no time, the question of what degree to get for college came. Looking at the list of options, one course appears to be larger than the others. I thought that dream was gone years back. Nevertheless, at this crucial moment of deciding what to do with my life, the delight I have felt during my writing moments troubles me. No one knows about that yearning. My brother had long forgotten the incident. My parents are practical people and it would be hard for me to explain why I would take something that gives me an uncertain prospect. With all the other spaces filled, it took all my strength to write a degree lastly in my application form.
If I had made the right decision, only time will tell. Nevertheless, I always know that I never gave up on that dream. The fulfilment of seeing characters from my mind imprinted on paper to stay there forever is one of the greatest sources of my joy. I admit, it lightens me up more than the idea of microchips, electric circuits, digital design and programming -which, I believe, I have to spend five years with should. For in writing, I can achieve my other dreams as well. In writing, I can be a Princess Eunice in possession of thousands dresses. In writing, I can be the next Avril Lavigne with my platinum music albums. I can be a multi-billionaire doctor, an accountant and a librarian. Recently, the idea of a mannequin turning into a full-fledged human is bugging me. And right now, she is in the midst of her transformation tucked in my laptop. I have opened my red notebook once again. Tears swelled as I rediscover my creations. I have been regenerating Kathy’s and Emma’s stories in my head lately and would gladly fulfil their happy endings soon.
If anything, I am extremely thankful with my brother. He taught me that along the road of accomplishing our dreams, there will always be rocks, sharp turns, pitfalls and thorns. We will have doubts. We will have fears. We have to face them ourselves. My walk has barely started. My brother’s question had been the first rock on my way. I may have tripped, it may have taken me so long to stand up, but I know that from now on, stumbling over a small rock would not be enough to for me to be indecisive once more. There are things worth standing up for. Happiness tops the list.
Mr. Anonymous made me realize what I really wanted to do. My brother made me realize that I should never give up. The secret, I learned, is not to simply write a book. The secret is to never give up on your happiness. For in it, you will feel infinite. In it, I feel immortal.
-----just read this essay again. I've been so busy lately and I miss the feeling of writing. . . I miss my characters. *sigh.