I do very well remember the first time that I wrote a piece; it was in third grade, and my maiden write-up has went freakingly awful. Out of anger, I threw the pen away and ripped the paper into a thousand pieces; I thought that I never wanted to write again.
But as the great Turkish poet Necip Fazil Kisakurek says:
“You can take the pen out of the writer, but you can’t take the writer out of the pen.”
It turned out to be true, for I started writing again in my fifth grade; I wrote diaries and essays, even though my English wasn’t proficient enough at that time. At the same time, I’ve read hundreds of books, ranging from fairy tales to biographies of great people; this served as the knowledge base from which I would rely on later.
In my first year high school (equivalent to seventh grade in the American system), I began to write more; war sketches, essays, journals, and so on. However, I did not think that I would really get involved in writing later in my life: I was busy studying Biology back then, intending to get a slot in the national olympiads…
I continued, though I did not know back then that I was writing already at that point in time. My Social Studies teacher usually said:
“You don’t know how to write, to be honest…”
And the rest of my first two years in high school became history.
In my junior year, an opportunity opened up for me: Our school paper needed sports writers, which they badly needed; they are planning to participate in the Division Schools Press Conference (DSPC), which was the city’s highest competition for journalistic writing. I gave it a try, though at that very moment, I never knew anything about scholastic journalism, let alone sports writing.
So I wasn’t surprised at all when my teachers didn’t gave me the benefit of the doubt. In the meantime, I borrowed my supervisor’s journalism book, and searched for sports-speak words (particularly soccer terms) in the Internet.
Finally, the moment of truth came: After writing the draft five times, I gave my final product to my English teacher. I went back to my ordinary life, knowing very well that I’ve had only a slim chance to be chosen…
Days later, my English teacher announced the names: I was among those who qualified!!! I was really happy back then, for being a school paper writer meant too much for anybody during those days.
And then, I began to read the book in full detail. I’ve learnt about most of the basics by then, and two months later, our school joined the DSPC for the first time in its history, and I was selected to write features and sports stories. The former was another unexplored charter for me; I didn’t know back then how to write colorfully!
After a week of seminars and competitions, the winners have been announced. I was shocked when I saw my name on the screen! I’ve won third in feature writing!
I never believed that it would happen. I just tried a seemingly unknown road, only to find out that I was better at it!
Just after the conference ended, I began to write more stories; alhough some of them were never finished, I believe that I was able to sharpen my skills through practice.
My senior year just saw more improvements in my writing: I was able to win second place during that year, while the overall ranking of our school rocketed up the table! By this time, I’ve already finished the whole Harry Potter series; I’ve already read the Hunger Games and Twilight; and I’ve added already hundreds of books to my reading list.
At the end of my high school days, two or three of my articles have made their way already into our city’s local dailies; I’ve already exhausted around thirty noteboooks of all sizes for my write-ups, and I’ve began to explore another avenue for my writing journey: short stories.
So far, most of my stories that I’ve written rarely reached 1,000 words; a lot of them would turn out as “short short stories” in modern usage. The major part of them fall under the “human interests” category, while my remaining works fall under science fiction and fantasy.
I’m trying to break that 1,000-word barrier as of today. And nothing’s gonna make me stop writing!
As a writer, I’m gonna practice “ethical and sustainable” writing to the best extent that I can; that is, practice etiquette in my writing at all times (i.e. no erotica, reduced usage of expletives, creating stories that touch upon human society, culture and spirit; etc.); practice proper critique attitudes (for example, encouraging and guiding new writers, correctly criticizing other people, constructiveness in commenting, and so on and so forth); and finally, sharpen my English to the extent that I could write my stories using correct and colorful language!
Finally, I write because my mind wants to be free. I love children, but I believe that my mind isn’t really suited for a four-walled classroom. I love Science, but my mind does not want to be confined in the laboratory. I want to be able to freely express my thoughts without the shackles of my tongue! I don’t want success or fame; for me, having some people who can read and appreciate my works is enough. I don’t want to be tied to money; Even if I learn less money, I would be free, and I would be proud that I’ve earned it through my own means. And oh, by the way, I don’t want to be misunderstood by people anymore. I really abhor it 😀
This is the path I’m gonna take as a writer. And I believe that I can break more barriers on my path.
To end this piece, I would like quote a line from my Turkish teacher:
“Be the best, and do the best!”