*This is a post for my NaNoWriMo 2014 attempt! It isn’t edited, except for the parsing down of thousands of words to a manageable size. Or a pretend manageable size. There are typos and missing words and potentially, the beginning of the post will have nothing to do with the end. But I remind you, “editing is for December.” So don’t judge too harshly, this is writing for writing’s sake! Enjoy!
People. I can’t tell you what a frustrating week it’s been at work. I’d love to rant and rave about it for hours (infact, my poor darling roommates have had to deal with my incoherent babbling all week, so appreciate your physical distance from me right now.)
But talking about what makes me angry just makes me angrier. Instead I’m going to try and focus on something positive. It’s sort of an assignment I got from work, actually, but it’s something I’ve alway wanted to write about.
How I became a writer.
Now, to clarify, I am not a writer.
Confusing, I know, but bear with me here.
Writing was what I best at in school. I’m talking since elementary school. The 5th grade, we were told to write a story that described what Jonas found in his hypothermic state, after leaving his hometown at the end of The Giver. My story was a description of assimilation into a society misunderstood by the main character, and a lack of acceptance of the unknown into the traditions of this new world. Age 11, people.
In the 6th grade, the creative writing prompt was picture-based; everyone pick one of these pictures and write a story to accompany it. Groans from all my classmates, and a 20-page story from me. 20 pages, for a 2-page assignment. I distinctly remember the picture but only vaguely remember the story I wrote. Up until that point, my favorite part of school had been reading, but I was beginning to separate the two crafts in my head – the difference between reading and writing. To me, they had always been two peas in a pod, one in the same. But now, they were beginning to seem like very different pastimes. Still pastimes though.
I struggled through high school math classes and excelled in english and came out on the positive side of average in everything else. In 9th grade, I scored 99 out of 100 on the English Regents Exam (an awful standardized test, for anyone who doesn’t live in NY.) I can also pinpoint exactly the singular question I got wrong; it was about a volcano…
Then came electives. OH GOSH, THE FREEDOM.
But what was left to me after deductively reasoning out math, science, business and marketing courses, “Family and Consumer Science,” technology education, extra social studies, additional music, expanded extra languages? English. Seven pages of english electives and only three years in which to take them. The course structure hasn’t changed much in the 5 years since I graduated, so reading straight from the handbook I found on Google, I can tell you I took Public Speaking, Children’s Literature (Kiddie Lit,) Suspense and the Supernatural, a Shakespeare course – there was little to no demand for it when I was there, so I’m not surprised it’s gone – and Intro to Journalism, also gone.
It was in my creative writing class that I found the release in storytelling. I learned about myself and my writing habits and how they differed from other people and I finally met some interesting characters in my own high school.
I met some writers. Some skilled, some pompous. My first introduction into the world of art and artists and the many lines drawn and crossed and erased and made up. I remember a ton of the people in that class by name and face and that’s saying a lot, seven years after the fact.