I was buried in words and sentences and grammar and everything of the English language that one could possibly need in order to write a book. And all I could think, the entire time, was how overwhelmingly big publishing my own book was. Its size didn’t really fit it was such a big concept. At first, I was doubtful and sort of wary of what it would turn out to be but as the book took some shape (after quite a while of writer’s block and some serious page-staring), I started to see the very faint outline of what I wanted it to be and how I wanted it to end. But you know what, I think it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I feel so accomplished, even though there are some typos and it’s not going to become a classic or anything, but that wasn’t my goal. My goal was to publish a book, a book that I wrote and poured over with all of my brainpower and heart. I achieved my goal and I am proud of that, not because I think that my book is amazing or anything but because I did it and that’s what I wanted to do. The one person I would like to thank for making all of this possible is my passionate teacher, Ms.Melinda Cochrane. If it weren’t for her none of this would have happened. Believe me, when people say shoot for the stars they’re not joking, because I shot for the stars and now my book is officially published! So go out there, and wherever you are, shoot for the stars, because how far in the deep galaxy of life you might end up will surprise you.
All schools teach about writing is grammar and the structure of an essay. Kids are taught to always follow the guidelines and they will fail if they don’t. However, true writing has been forgotten by the annual curriculum. Writing should be delving into your creativity and simply capturing it on paper, not the boring repetition of creating a response to some weird story. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have a course this year that allowed me to write freely without anything holding me back. This opened up the world of writing to me and presented new opportunities. I got to write an actual book and create a business to sell said book. This course taught me not only what it was to write, but to be a writer as well. A writer is not someone who simply writes a story. A writer is someone who is determined to succeed and pursue their passions through writing. They have a drive to continue writing and won’t stop no matter how many people try to bring them down. A writer writes because they love to write. This class perhaps is one of the most eye opening courses that I have taken, as it taught me life skills, like how to start and run a business. This world of writing is truly a tremendous community to be a part of and I hope that many other people my age will discover it as well.
Writing is more than just a few words on a piece of paper, it’s a million thoughts in a few sentences. It’s the thousands of crazy emotions and images flashing through the writer's head. The thoughts about what to write next, what to add, how to fix up the story, these thoughts never leave. These thoughts follow you everywhere and will emerge when inspired by something so simple or simply nothing at all. Writing is that rush you get when everything falls into place, when the missing piece of the puzzle finally comes to your mind. Writing is a random thought scribbled on a napkin so you don’t forget about it and stuffed into your pocket for later. Writing is that perfect patterned noise of fingers dancing across the keyboard. It’s pouring your soul into every single word and forgetting the time as you’re sucked into your own story because when you’re writing it’s not a story anymore it’s your own reality. Writing does not involve only the writer, it involves the world, people around you, teachers who showed you the way and other writers. It’s much too difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t write the feelings that emerge, no words could possibly describe it perfectly. You will drive yourself mad trying to come up with the perfect word, the perfect sentence, the perfect story. But the thing is that writing is not perfect there is both beauty and pain, suffering and freedom. There are times you wish to give up, throw away the pen, delete everything, and sometimes you will do that exactly, but that just leaves a blank page to start again.
So the year’s come to an end and what a year it’s been. Let me just start by saying, I wrote a book!! Yes, that’s right, a real life book is sitting in my home, and a few other people’s houses as well. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud because those 20 000 words were some of the hardest words I’ve ever written. I was swamped with planning and choosing which words to go where, and don’t even get me started on the unexpected writer’s block that would sneak up on me at any given moment. All to say, I couldn't have gotten through this without my friends and most importantly my writing teacher, Ms. Melinda Cochrane. She taught me that it takes dedication to become a writer and when times get tough you need to keep pushing through. She also helped me see the beauty in writing and how freeing a few words on paper can be. I admire her perseverance and talent and I can’t wait to see her name on the New York Times Bestseller list. Because I know she’ll get there and when she does I’ll look down at her name and think, that, that’s my writer’s room teacher and I’ll remember how honoured I was to have her teach me almost all I know about writing. So now I’ll be off resting in the sun or gallivanting through a field that I’m most certainly not supposed to be in, whilst I gear up for the onslaught of grade 10. But before I go, I would just like to thank Ms. Cochrane for the gift she gave me; the gift of writing.
Over the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to take part in the first ever BHS Writer’s Room. At the start of grade nine back in September, I remember being so excited about the new course; the idea of publishing a book sounded amazing to me. It was something that I’d been dreaming of since I was very young, a dream I thought would never actually become reality.
Classes started, and soon enough the huge project was assigned. I remember it seeming surreal and almost insurmountable at the same time, a daunting mountain that I had yet to climb.
The journey of writing what would become my novella took place over the course of seven months. Some days the ideas flowed and others were a struggle. Some days I thought I would never finish by the scheduled deadline, and others I was confident about the exact same thing.
But despite every obstacle thrown my way, I did finish my book on time. Twenty thousand words of my blood, sweat and tears have now been printed on paper, and flipping through them I feel nothing but pride. All those late nights reading and rereading the same passages over and over again until I practically had them memorized, all those long days of hopelessness and perseverance and dedication, they were all worth it. Why? Because in the end, my novella allowed me to discover a part of myself that would have otherwise remained hidden...and for that I am very grateful. So to Ms. Cochrane, and all of the Writer’s Room students who made this year so memorable: thank you.
Writer’s Room was a great opportunity for me to push my creative boundaries. I got to explore my ideas through many different compositions, such as blogs and a novella. In the process of writing my novella, I experienced some challenging and rewarding moments. Formulating ideas for characters and developing their personalities throughout the story was something that I quite enjoyed. I felt immersed in their world and the problems they faced. I tried to create characters that the audience would easily be able to identify and sympathize with. What type of backstory would cause a character to behave a specific way or act a specific way? I pondered this question frequently while composing my novella. I also learned about the hardships of writing and, as most writers, experienced writer’s block. For example, even though I knew what type of scenario I wanted to incorporate, it was sometimes difficult to put into words. Other times, I was dissatisfied with the direction in which the story was heading, and often reworked paragraphs or even entire chapters. At the time, it was quite frustrating, but well worth it, as the end product was really something I could be proud of. Writer’s Room allowed me to tell a story and to receive a hard copy of my work. I will forever treasure this class and the writing skills it has taught me. Many thanks to a great teacher and mentor, Ms. Cochrane, for allowing me to test the waters of the literary world, and what a truly fantastic world it is.
Writing my own book was far from easy. It was exhausting, emotionally straining and very challenging. However, I would have never changed the experience. An unexplainable feeling comes from typing that last word of the book. Finally finishing the story of the characters that have lived in my mind for months. Finishing off that happy ending that I always hoped for. In a way, a writer lives through their books and writing. This story will always be a part of me. I am so proud of my work and how far I have come this year. The countless hours spent writing finally paid off. All the stress, writer’s block and hardships were worth it. Receiving the paper copy of my book, yes the book that I wrote, was such a special moment. Holding a story in my hands that was just a figure of my imagination a couple of months ago left me speechless. I learnt that I didn’t care what other people thought of my writing… after all I never wrote the book for them. The book was written for myself, so I could say I did such an amazing thing that never in a million years I could have ever guessed would happen. What was even more great about this experience is that my friends supported me through the whole way. They were there when I couldn’t think of something new or when I didn’t think I’d ever finish the book. They were inspirations to my characters and without them the story wouldn’t be what it is. A book is a very personal thing to share, for me it’s kind of like a diary. Sometimes you have to face your fears and share that diary for other people, and that was the publishing process for me. The book was a learning experience for me, and I could not be more thankful for having this opportunity.