How Lit Goes – My Humble Beginnings as a Middle School Prodigy

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva 

I recall having a passion for writing from a very early age – earlier than I am able to date, in fact.

I remember always eagerly awaiting creative writing assignments in school, developing stories that would captivate what was usually an audience of one (my teacher), or sometimes an audience of a few more (my family).

One particular story, written when I was in the eighth grade, received a local award, netting me a grand prize of $60 – a small fortune to an eighth grader.

My writing is influenced largely by the works of J.D. Salinger.

I started, as many do, with The Catcher in the Rye in my middle school years, then moved on to his works detailing the Glass family in my high school years.

I found Salinger’s style of writing to be captivating – and not all that different from my own. I wanted to emulate his style, with my own creative (or so I would hope) spin on it.

In high school, I began taking on larger writing projects.

I proudly served as the Editor-in-Chief of my school newspaper during my senior year, and I even saw my way to completing a novel-length work during the summer between my junior and senior years.

Photo by Ivan Samkov

The writing was, of course, inspired by Salinger; it was as cynical, critical, and sarcastic as an eighteen-year-old fledgling writer could be.

I’m not particularly proud of the work itself, in retrospect, though I do admire my teenage self’s ability to see a project through to its end.

During my freshman year of college, I completed another project, this one of novella length.

This particular work centered on a date night between a struggling couple gone awry.

To date, it’s probably my favorite work that I’ve put to paper. I even intended on expanding the universe of the work into a series of its own, not unlike Salinger’s many works surrounding the Glass family.

Ultimately, a potent combination of writer’s block and life itself got in the way of that expansive project, though it’s an idea I’ve entertained returning to at times.

Nowadays, my writing endeavors mainly consist of personal Facebook posts and blog entries
(back when I maintained a blog of my own!).

These writings surround various topics related to my own personal and professional journey, with a focus on mental health.

Mental wellness is a topic that is very near and dear to me, and I, perhaps ambitiously, hope to inspire and support others through my writing. I see my writing ability as a gift of sorts, and I’m ready, willing, and able to pay it forward.

Despite the seemingly ubiquitous challenges of writer’s block and life itself, I know that writing is a field for which I have always had a passion, and if I can instill a similar passion in others through my words, then I will consider my works successful in the most important regard.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva

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