When Writing Stopped Being A Hobby...

12:04 AM

And turned into something that I love and have to do.

I've always liked writing. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. Honestly, it use to get me in trouble in school, and for some reason, that never bothered me. Although I was writing in my early years, it didn't become something more until I hit 9th grade. Freshman year at a school I was forced to attend because my mother didn't like the high school that I was supposed to go to. I hated the school and what's funny is I took something my mother said to me when she gave me a choice and completely twisted her words.

When I told her that I wanted to go to high school with the kids I'd grown up with she was against it. Because of the school's reputation. Let's just say, it wasn't squeaky clean. So my mom sat me down and said, Alana, if I let you go there, you can't bring home anything less than a 'B'. Listen, I was perfectly capable of bringing home good grades, but I was not about to make that deal and then walk in the house with maybe a 'C' and have to hear her mouth. So, I did what my mother wanted and I went to the high school of her choice (Narbonne). It was a disaster from the start, I hated it, I felt isolated because I didn't know anyone at the school so I stayed to myself for the first semester and I started writing more.

Unfortunately, my writing followed me into classes. It started in freshman English, Mr. Forthum (I might be spelling his name wrong, but people who had his class know who I'm talking about) was my English teacher, and he was terrible. I really learned nothing from this man. He had us reading Shakespeare and then taking a test on it and this was considered learning. To this day, I'm not fond of William Shakespeare. I blame my teacher for this. Anyway, while he was talking, I was writing. Everything that I was supposed to be learning I was ignoring. I wrote my first short story in this class, and began working on my first teen novel. Needless to say I ended up with a less than stellar grade in his class, and I didn't care because hey, my momma told me I had to bring home nothing less than a 'B' from the other school, she didn't say a damn thing about this school. *that's the way my teenage mind worked back then*

The problem was I didn't have an outlet for my writing. I couldn't do it in my English class because damn it we were reading sonnets and shit. Writing was not on my teacher's list of things to do. I walked out of that class everyday feeling like I'd gained nothing, and wondering why I even needed to take the class anyway. The second semester rolled around and...I can't even tell you what he taught that semester because again, I wasn't interested. I wanted to write! At this time I wasn't into doing a lot of reading. I owned maybe six books from my junior high years, but I had only read two of them. Reading wasn't my thing.

Everything changed when Ms. Heser became my English teacher. I had no idea what I was in for, but it was sure to be exciting! There was silent reading which meant I had to like reading, so I went out and bought Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey and fell in LOVE with reading. My mother was taking me to the bookstore every other day. I was getting on her nerves and she couldn't wait for me to start driving so she wouldn't have to go with me to the store. I was excited, because this was something I liked. It was nothing like my other English class. When she spoke, I listened, I learned, because she was actually teaching something. I had essays to write, I WAS WRITING!

One day she introduced the class to writer's workshop *falls on floor* I was in Heaven! Once a week we were allowed to write about anything we wanted to write about. Some people wrote poetry, songs, essays, some people wrote nothing, and one person copied the words from CD jackets and told the teacher it was his. I still find it funny that she never caught on to that.

                                    I wrote everything 

Nothing that we wrote was graded. Miss Heser only commented on the things we wrote, she never graded them. When I was writing, I didn't think about the fact that my teacher would read these things, judge them, and possibly hate them. I was just excited to be doing something that I loved.

One day she handed us our folders, and I decided to read the comments on my work. She loved everything that I'd written, the poetry, short stories, the novel I was writing at the time. She loved it, and I instantly knew what I loved to do. Did I want to make a career out of it? Probably not. My thing is, I love to write, and I do it everyday, but it's not something that I would stop going to school for or quit my job for. A dream won't pay my bills. But you better believe that if when I do succeed at this, I will be quitting and I'll never look back.

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