In Love with the Written Word

Talia - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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If I were to tell people now that I fell in love at the age of seven, they probably would not believe me. They would say that I was much too young to know what it was like to be in love. But I know that is not right. It is true that I didn’t have the same feeling that starry-eyed couples have as they walk down the street holding hands. And I am not talking about the kind of love like when a mother looks at her child, or a sister holds her baby-brother for the first time. I am talking about the feeling an artist has when he gazes upon his grand masterpiece, an athlete has for his winning goal, a chef has for his prized dish. It’s the love a person has for their work. At the age of seven I fell in love with writing.

It was the beginning of second grade and all the eager seven-year-olds had just received brand new journals. 100 blank pages, waiting to be filled up with any seven-year-old thought. When I received my journal, impatience was the first thought that came to mind. In first grade we had been given journals as well, and although my journal was indeed filled with scattered thoughts and beginnings of stories, I had yet to complete a story. This time, as soon as I was given a pencil, I began scribbling wildly, and made another attempt to finish what I had failed to do last year. Finish a story.

Most children in my class used the journal as a diary, filling it with events of their lives as second-graders. I struggled for a while with finding a decent story concept, but eventually I brainstormed one I liked. The plot was simple: the protagonist was a young boy, Page, who was currently trying to put together a play. I decided to call my story Page the Play Boy, a name adults would laugh at when I told them, although I couldn’t figure out why at the time. Looking back, Page the Play Boy was a simple story, but it was the beginning of something wonderful. I greatly enjoyed weaving this tale of Page and his play, and as my sister’s Bat Mitzvah was approaching, I hatched an idea. What better Bat Mitzvah gift than a very piece of one’s soul, (as Page had become of mine); why not give my sister the gift of my story? I say I fell in love in second –grade, but really it wasn’t until the following year, when I presented my story to my sister, and looked upon the fruits of my labor, that I fell in love with writing.

Amidst the towering pile of brightly wrapped packages, and subtle black jewelry boxes, I proudly laid my story (bound by hand) on my sister’s gift table. Eventually my story was hidden from view by other assorted gifts, by when I walked by the gift table, it seemed to be exuding a golden light, shining.

Page the Play Boy was my first story, and for that I hold a special love in my heart for it. Since then I have progressed to writing longer stories, yet I still love writing as much as I did when I was seven years old.

Creating and molding the characters of one’s story has always been my absolute favorite part of writing. I love pouring every detail into their looks and personality; I love creating a life, making a person. Every time a character performs a good deed in one of my stories, I feel a private sense of pride and accomplishment. My writing is my own therapy session; I channel all of the day’s aggression, regret, joy, into my characters. By living vicariously through them, I help myself. It has certainly strengthened my creative talents, and it has also made me more empathetic. When you are a writer you have to be empathetic; you have to put yourself in your character’s shoes to plan their next course of action. I truly believe that writing has made me a better person.

My writing is my hobby, my talent, my passion, my love. And I owe it all to Page. I fell in love at the age of seven, and till death do us part.