This I Believe

Michael - Short Hills, New Jersey
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity

I am an aspiring author. I have enjoyed writing since elementary school. I like to write long stories. Short stories. Realistic fiction. Completely unrealistic fiction. Anything. No matter what, it’s important to me to write what I feel. I don’t keep a diary or a journal, I just write stories.

I believe that through writing, I can discover my own personal beliefs.

Sometimes the stories parallel an event that happened that day. Or an event I heard about. Maybe it’s something I heard during the day that struck me. It will stick with me all day, or it will start a chain reaction of thoughts. Sometimes I will sit down at the computer and start typing. It may be logical and formatted one day, pure garbled stream of consciousness the next.

A while ago, it occurred to me that if I enjoy writing as much as I do, perhaps I could try my hand at a book. It seemed at the time to be a daunting task, and still is. Little did I know that I would connect with the story so thoroughly. Some days, I would write pages on pages. Or just a lone sentence. Other days, I just open up the document and read certain sections.

It is hard for a teenager in this modern era, or I suppose any era, to find a core set of guiding beliefs. There are so many beliefs out there. Coinciding yet conflicting, reflecting yet refracting beliefs. A teenager’s mind is still very open to ideas, willing to accept new things. But seize onto a set of beliefs too early, and you’ll have your perspective shattered sooner or later. It’s hard to find beliefs that are truly your own. It’s easy to say you believe in some things. Say belief in God, you’re referring to the religion you were brought up with. Say belief in following your dreams, and you’re spitting back the slogans put on a poster in every classroom since kindergarten. The first thing that comes to your head will be something that has repeated thousands of times, sloganized and commercialized.

I believe that I can remain untouched by these outside influences to a certain degree through writing. If I write down my experiences and ideas every day, they remain mine. My writing is my inner sanctum. Nobody can question my personal writings; I can permit them to read my writing only when I am ready. I don’t know if there is anything that I came up with in those stories, that I believe yet. Something that I can live my life by. But I do know that if I can continue to have my own collection of thoughts, someday I will be able to formulate a belief core that is truly my own. Until then, I can only believe in the ability to find my beliefs through writing. Because if you are simply repeating a phrase that someone else has said, it’s not really your belief anymore, is it?