“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” —George Orwell
Sometimes I get writer’s block. Sometimes I stare at my screen for an hour in frustration. Sometimes I change a single sentence over and over again until it’s either unrecognizable or a single word off from its original. Sometimes I slam my laptop shut and consider switching majors, abandoning my goals and never writing again.
And yet my laptop is open.
“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”—R.L. Stine
I never thought I could be a writer. I didn’t think you could major in that. I wasn’t sure what jobs there were for writers.
I was a practical kid, thinking maybe I should just study business so I could make some money. Then, I watched Gilmore girls and seeing Rory as a journalist set me on this path. I’m 21 and still studying journalism but that doesn’t mean I’m not still uncertain. Maybe I should have picked up a business minor. Maybe I should have added a history major, rather than writing. Maybe I should work really hard and never leave a job I hate for lifelong security.
“Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.” —May Sarton
I started my first novel at 12. I finished it at 16. I can’t claim it was a good novel. I can’t say it will ever get published. But I can say it’s done.
It’s written in a series of composition notebooks, rather than nicely typed up. Sticky notes from my 7th-grade editor still mark the pages. I’ve tried to type them up, put them somewhere permanent but it’s like revisiting myself in middle school. My thoughts, my beliefs, my vocabulary. Maybe it’s meant to stay forever in those black and white notebooks? Maybe it’s not.
“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”—Margaret Laurence
One day, I’ll be a writer. Maybe I’ll be a journalist. Maybe I’ll be a novelist. Maybe I’ll just write.
Maybe it will be great.