I started writing when I was twelve. I had the most over-active imagination ever, to the point where it had turned me into a pathological liar. I loved telling people stories, even if they weren’t true. The complicated part was when they realized none of it was real, they thought I was an asshole which, I must admit, is understandable. I just wanted life to be as exciting as the books I’d read; real life was so dreary in comparison. Once I realized that my lies weren’t winning me any popularity points, not that I was popular to begin with, I told myself that I absolutely had to stop. I figured, why not put everything in a story? And that is how I began to write.
My first ever “book” was called Grace’s Braces. It was about a pretty, popular girl who got braces and was abandoned and bullied by her so-called friends who now deemed her ugly. Typical YA shit. I wrote everywhere. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. One day a girl in my class noticed. She asked me what I was doing, I told her I was writing a story so she asked me if she could read it. I handed my notebook to her. I didn’t have much confidence back then, I don’t think a lot of twelve year-olds do, but if there was one thing I was confident about, it was my writing; I knew it was good.
And I was right. The girl read it, loved it, and passed it on to other people in the class. It was soon being passed around in the school. I remember seeing one girl read it during Wednesday prayers at the chapel (I went to a very posh, very methodist secondary school). I started getting requests for more. That notebook only contained the first two chapters. People wanted to know more about Grace and her life.
I wrote, I wrote, I wrote. I wrote in class, I wrote at home, I wrote during assembly. I was running out of notebooks and I never ran out of those. Every time I would write a new chapter, or a few new pages, people would gather around me in class, asking if they could read it. I had never been so popular, no one had ever been this friendly to me; and it was all because of my writing.
It’s strange looking back on it now. I wrote about a girl being bullied because she was deemed ugly and different, because that was what had been happening to me at the time, and the same girls who had bullied me for those very things absolutely loved what I was writing about! At the time, the irony of it all went completely over my head. Man, tweens are fucking weird.
I never finished the book. When I had initially started writing, I did it for me. After a while I started doing it more because people were asking me to and I wanted to please them. I eventually lost inspiration. I started something else, but I never finished it. I would start something new every time, write half of it, then stop.
To this day, I’ve never been able to finish a story. Throughout my adolescence and depression, I wrote a series of short, depressing stories to go with how I was feeling at the time. I’ve never been able to finish any of them, and to this day I still feel guilty about that. Hell, I still feel guilty about Grace’s Braces and that was over a decade ago.
I don’t know how to end stories. I don’t like tragedies and I don’t like happy endings. Happy endings aren’t real. You’re never just happy and then your life stops and that’s it. I’ve always wanted my characters to just be, but that’s not an ending.
But I do miss writing, really writing. I miss having that confidence that only a kid can have really, that here’s my work and there’s no way you’re not going to fucking like it because it’s amazing confidence. No nervous sweating as you send someone your piece, no second guessing. You believe it’s good, because honestly, it probably is. I miss having the ability to just write, and write, and write. Somewhere along the way, life got in the way, and I lost it. I wonder how many people were writers a lifetime ago like I was, and lost their grip on it like I did. It really sucks, doesn’t it.