By Julie Jimenez, FINDink Contributor
“Okay, everyone! I want you all to write a short story with this given sentence!” Her teacher gestured to the class.
A little nine year old girl stared down at her wide ruled composition notebook. “A short story with this given sentence.” She repeated to herself.
One sentence could lead up to so many possibilities. So many different directions.
She picked up her wooden Ticonderoga pencil and continued this story. A few sentences turned into paragraphs, and eventually those paragraphs turned into pages. Occasionally, she would go up to sharpen her pencil, but she was practically glued to her notebook.
She didn’t stop writing. She couldn’t put the pencil down. Her concentration was solely focused on this plotline. She became fully immersed in the story. She saw her words come to life from within the margins of these lined pages. She saw her characters speak and move. She felt herself being drawn into the scene. Where was she now? She teleported to the world they lived in. She could see and feel everything she wrote.
Honestly, where was she?
She’s never been here before.
“Okay, I want someone to come up and share what they wrote!” Her teacher clapped her hands
The little girl stopped and looked around at everyone else’s stories.
They were short, only a paragraph long.
She snapped back into reality and flipped through the three pages she had filled in. She wasn’t even done, but her story was already that long.
She felt the adrenaline rush through her mind. She enjoyed writing. She felt a spark in her that was never felt before.
So she decided to indulge into this feeling, into writing stories whenever she could.
She liked being able to control her own characters and their fates.
She liked writing about her feelings without having to share them.
Blank pages were welcoming enough for her.
She found sanctuary with her words.
And from that day on, she became a writer.
I am that little girl.
I used words as an outlet for my own frustrations, sorrows, fears, happiness and excitement. I would spend hours with a journal creating stories with length and depth. Sometimes I just couldn’t end them. (I hate endings). I would write diary entries, documenting what happened during the day. I would write about my crushes, and how I wish they knew I existed. I would write letters to the people I care about, which would never be seen. I would write short stories in the margins of my school notebooks whenever I was bored in class. Each one varied, each one without an ending.
Those journals carried me all throughout the darkest times in my life because they were open for me. I was able to express how I felt about my parents, how I felt like I wasn’t worth anything, how I felt like I didn’t want to be alive. My words would fill these pages, and no one would have to see or hear them. Each page invited me. Each page talked to me, convincing me that anything I was thinking or feeling was worth writing down.
If I felt alone, and thought that no one would hear me, I could listen to myself. I’d still be in my own head, but with the security of my own words.
People tried to tell me I couldn’t write. They said my writing was too simple, not complex.
I’ve had English teachers tell me I just don’t have the potential to write well. They told me I would never be able to complete a college writing course because of my writing style.
So I kept writing. I never changed my voice. I never faltered to what they said.
I bought several journals. Some blank, some with prompts in them. I wrote articles online, hoping to get noticed by a curious reader. I set up a blog to express my feelings to the world, because why not?
My dream isn’t to become famous.
I just want to be heard in a way where I won’t have to speak.
I want to be heard louder than my own voice.
The only way I know how is through words.
And that’s what I’ve decided to do.
This is my sanctuary.
This is who I am.
“I am a mediocre writer who uses words as an outlet for anything.” – Julie Jimenez