It was in seventh grade when I realized that I was a writer. However, the realization was not sudden and did not surprise me. It seemed to me like something I had known my whole life but was just now putting into words. This allowed me to plunge as far as I could into the world of explanation.
I wrote non-stop poems. They were unsuccessful portrayals of middle school angst but they were there. I began a novel about the secret lives of my friends and I. I couldn’t control myself, the words were pouring out. The knowledge that I must be a writer is why I write. If I were to stop writing, knowing that I have to, I would be forcing myself out of a world that I need to be part of.
To me, to write is to be. If I were not allowed to write I would not be allowed to create, to breathe, to think, to exist.
If I were to stop writing I believe that I would finally find myself in a state of deep despair. Writing is what I use to allow myself to forget without actually forgetting. Writing is my way of taking ideas and letting ideas go. It’s a balance of creating and appreciating that has attempted to take over my life.
There are moments, just individual moments, where I feel as though if I can’t write within the next few seconds I will shatter. My muscles get tense and my cheeks start to pull at my eyes. My head races and my fingers shake. I grab whatever I can and the words drench whatever I touch. Coating white pages with grey smudges or inky black letters, I let it all go.
But there are moments when I couldn't write at all. The need isn't there and I can't force it. Trying not to wait for it, I take deep breaths and I look at the world. I see the people, their stories. The world around me shifts slightly and suddenly the need is back. I've found a story, I have to put it down.
In the summer after 9th grade I began to carry a small, empty book and a pen. I've found myself sitting on the train jotting down the stories of strangers. I don't ask them, these stories aren't real. I make them up, I guess. It feels more like they come to me. I don't have any kind of control.