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For The love of writing

By Ansley Wiederholt

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    By Allison Rothrock
            I remember almost nothing, my memory is one of the worst around. I can recollect bits and pieces of my childhood, but everything mostly seems as if I’m living as different people throughout the stages of my life. I’ve been determined, I’ve been lost, I’ve been popular, I’ve been alone. Through the ever-changing worlds I float through, one thing remains the same. I love books, and I love writing.

            I was raised to be whatever I wanted to be. My parents were always cautious at getting me more toys, but they never denied me a book if I wanted one. Having intellectual children that could think for themselves was a priority, and my sister and I embodied it. We were smart girls, and we were to act as such.
            This, however, did not carry over into school. Academically, I was a star student, even with ADHD, but I can’t make excuses. Socially, I was different, I was held to standards; I was a girl, and I was to act as such.

            It took me a long time to realize what this meant, and it wasn’t until third grade when it dawned on me. Girls were supposed to read the frilly color fairy books, books with “pink” in the name, stories of princesses waiting for their prince to save them on a white horse. I, however, enjoyed Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and rather fairies I found werewolves and vampires a much more interesting read. The supernatural fuelled my vivid imagination, and I always had a story to tell.

            My parents, being the people that they are, loved to listen to my stories. They sat me down at a table and encouraged me to write everything down, so that they could read my stories later and so that I could keep them to share. And me, being the person I am, wrote slower than I could think, and my stories were chicken scratch scrawled across notebook paper. I was then sat down at a computer, and I began to type.

            Fifth grade brought on sharing my stories with friends, collaborating on plots and concepts. Sixth grade meant learning new ways to express these ideas, although a school setting stamped out all original ideas, but that only pushed me harder. Seventh grade meant getting a small laptop for my thirteenth birthday. I remember my dad handing it over and saying “this is for your writing, just to make writing down your ideas easier”. I was finally responsible enough to have my own laptop. I stepped on it a year later and cracked the screen. It broke.

            I got a new one, after a lot of convincing, before high school started, and once again I was able to write without fear of my rough drafts being found on paper, the lists of ideas probably making me seem like a madman. As I got older, and the deeper I got into the supernatural, the darker and more macabre the topics seemed to be. But to each his own.

            Publishing on websites I had gained a small following behind my works, although I’ve lost them all by now. By freshman year, I had one goal in mind; to become a dramatic writer, one that writes scripts and screenplays. Taking journalism was another way to better myself as a writer.

            Acting I changed this dream pretty quickly, but I still wanted to write. I decided to revive an old dream, to become a novelist. To once again be the storyteller I once was.

            So I looked to the classics, sticking to my fantasy-based roots. Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley, Franz Kafka, Steven King, H.G. Wells, all lining my bookshelves and the free downloads I can get on iTunes because the copyright was expired and I could get books for free. Inspired by many, motivated by few.

            Reading these works for the first time, the memory of discovering how King can make anything seem terrifying, how idiotic Jonathan Harker is, how every part of the Picture of Dorian Grey makes sense once you realize Oscar Wilde is gay. The discovery of the old world and a new one, locked in print. The real interest lies beyond the pages, and I find myself constantly relating back to the authors themselves.

            Each of my idols are just people with stories to tell, and the motivation to put them in text. Every phrase, every word, every day, hour, minute they spent writing is the exact same amount of time I’ve gotten to express myself with words. These storytellers, and the influence they have over me, is a prize I could never put value to.

            Unlocking parts of myself with every sentence I form, bettering myself each day. The hobby I’ve spent the longest time perfecting and the least time worrying about. It’s hardly ever work, and I hold influence over my own readers, and I’ve been told I’ve been as much as an inspiration to others as my idols were to me.

            And to be able to make the world a little more interesting, given, with my touch it would be a little more macabre, means more to me than (ironically) words could express.

            Writing is a picture portrait, free at hand to whoever paints it. Writing is architecture, structured brick by brick to build a full base. Writing is the soul, if eyes are windows then reading is the drapes that blind those of us who wish to either draw them back or remain hidden in the darkness. The given ability to share my stories is the force that pulls my curtains down, bringing light into my room.