The beginning of a written piece is essential to its success. The writer has that one chance to embrace and enrapture the reader so that he or she will not only refuse to put it down and walk away, but will continue holding it and will take pleasure in its characters, mysteries, and language. I, on the other hand, have difficulty starting papers (such as this one), and am doing the opposite of embracing and enrapturing the reader. For anyone who has made it thus far, feel free to reward yourself with a pat on the back. Maybe I’ll try another approach.
I once held the belief that I was destined to be a writer. At ten years old, I had decided that after first accomplishing my primary goal of becoming a veterinarian (because who doesn’t love animals?), I would fulfill my true passion and be a novelist on the side. Publish a book here and there, attend a few readings and signings, see the titles of my books on the New York Times Bestseller list, the usual. According to my 5th grade mindset at the time, being a writer was a luxurious profession. It meant that I would gain inspiration from all the exotic countries that I was constantly traveling to. My circle of friends would include pretentious intellectuals who only used obscenely lengthy words in conversation and who would have heated debates on the meaning of life. On some nights, we would hear poetry readings or grace people with our presence at art gallery openings. Being a writer just seemed like a convenient outlet for having an impressive and enjoyable lifestyle. There was no time to waste.
My first story was titled J.T.’s Pet Rat (I was obviously still into animals). The protagonist was a ten-year-old girl (the same age I was when I wrote it) named J.T. It was a simple and childish story-she took her pet rat, Whiskers, everywhere and he would always get loose and cause trouble. In the supermarket he toppled over food displays, sent women screaming, and had the manager chase J.T. out with a broom. At the movie theater, Whiskers escaped J.T.’s clutches and ended up getting tangled in the projector, ruining the movie, infuriating the audience, and giving the manager a reason to banish J.T. from the theater. After that, J.T. and her nuisance of a pet vanished from existence because I became bored with where the story was going, which was nowhere. The binder holding the mere three chapters was set on my bookcase to accumulate dust.
After entering the 6th grade and deeming myself more mature and sophisticated (I had upgraded to the middle school), I made a second attempt. In accordance with the animal theme, Escape From the Cage featured a talking hamster named Oreo. After a boy purchases Oreo from the pet shop, the hamster befriends the other pets dwelling in his new home, battles the evil cat, has a nasty run-in with the cook, and the rest is history because Oreo’s story was never finished. After the 7th chapter, my mind was already thinking about the characters for my next story.
My next two efforts failed more miserably than the previous ones. Zinny the Alien reached two pages before I ended it, and the story after that didn’t even have a title. I had written about half a page before I threw the paper out. From there, I would get as far as brainstorming for my next story before giving up on it.
Despite the spiraling downfall of my career as a novelist, I still enjoy creative writing and know that it’s in store in my future. Anyone can put words onto paper, but writers are able to do so in a way that they provoke thought in others. Hopefully I’ll reach this point.