A note: this is for the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain. Look at the bottom of the post to find the rest of the participants. This month’s prompt was, “What is the first thing you can remember writing of your own free will?”
My mom, like many mothers, loves keeping scrapbooks of her children’s lives. Every vacation, every award, every teensy insignificant detail of our lives is right there in plastic-covered pages, preserved for anyone who gets my parents reminiscing. In one of those books is the first piece of writing I ever did on my own.
Before I get into what the writing was, you need a little background information. When I was a wee youngster, climbing over everything and amusing my family to no end, what I wanted more than anything else was a cat. A soft, adorable, frisky little kitty to play with and cuddle and keep me company. For years, it felt like, I campaigned relentlessly for an animal to call my own.
Which brings me to the summer after kindergarten. I was six, and we went up to Rochester, New York to visit my cousins. It just so happened that they had a neighbor whose cat had just given birth, and the neighbor oh-so-kindly would bring those kittens over in a big plastic tub for us kids to look at. A week went by, and long story short, I brought home one of the kittens as my own. His name was Tiger.
My dreams had come true, and I loved him, loved him so much, to the point where I wrote a poem about my intense excitement. It was called “My Cat,” fittingly enough, and it explained how much I LOVED him. There was much repetition involved, short as it was. These lines are a good indicator of how the whole thing went:
My cat is soft, cute, and furry.
It is so cute, I could go blurry.
Young as I was, and with very little writing experience (again, I was six- no one has much experience at that age), not all of it was perfect, or made perfect sense (hey, at least it rhymed. Rhyming was ALL THAT MATTERED. Even more than proper pronouns mattered). But I didn’t care how it sounded. At the time, all I was doing was celebrating an important thing in my life. I just happened to use writing as a way of expressing it. Now, though, I realize what that moment meant for me.
It meant the moment when I became a writer. It was when I first picked up a pencil with the sole intention of contributing something to the literary world. I wasn’t doing this for a teacher or my parents. I was doing this for me. Today, this feeling has grown. That’s why this blog exists: for me to express myself through writing. And to think that it all began with a tiny poem about my cat.
Sure, I wasn’t the best writer at the time. Now that I’m older, though, I’ve gotten better. I’m able to craft my words into more poems and stories and be proud of them. This is who I’ve become, and this is who I am: a writer. Yes, I’m a teenage writer. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to contribute. Even when I was six, I had something to say; why shouldn’t I have even more to say now?
It doesn’t matter how old I am. It doesn’t matter how many writing awards I have or how many people follow this blog. What matters is that I have something to share, and through writing, I have a way of sharing it. I have a way of expressing myself that makes me happy, and that has always made me happy from the time I was six years old. When I’m older and published, I’ll look back on this scrapbook poem and not be ashamed, because this was where it all began.
And because Tiger really is cute.
Want to follow our blog tour? Here are the participating parties, day by day:
October 15th — http://delorfinde.wordpress.com – A Farewell To Sanity
October 16th — http://eatsleepwriterepeat.wordpress.com – Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat
October 17th — http://taystapeinc.wordpress.com – Tay’s Tape
October 18th — https://noveljourneys.wordpress.com/ – Novel Journeys
October 19th —- http://greatlakessocialist.wordpress.com/ – Red Herring Online
October 20th —http://kirstenwrites.wordpress.com/ – Kirsten Writes!
October 21st — http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com – The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
October 22nd — http://herestous.wordpress.com – Here’s To Us
October 23rd — http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com – Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for the next month’s chain)