I have always enjoyed writing and have been writing since a very young age. Whether it is writing articles for newspapers and having them published, or maintaining my own blog, I find comfort and peace in writing, and it is something I turn to when life gets chaotic and hard. And so, naturally, I have always tried entering competitions. During my summer break, I came across one such competition, highly competitive and challenging. Awe struck by the inspiring originality of the given prompt, I began writing immediately. I spend the next two weeks researching, writing, rewriting and editing. I truly believed that I had given my best and that the essay that I had sent would be good enough to win me a title.
Shattered. Heart-broken. Confused. Worried. The “We are sorry to inform you” hit pretty hard this time around. I had lost competitions before, but I had faith in myself for this one. Tears trickled down my cheeks, and in the summer heat, I could feel a cold shiver run down my spine. It was heartbreaking to say the least, but I couldn’t write for the next few weeks. I had lost hope and despite constant support and consolation from my parents, I felt like I would never be good enough as a writer.
I turned to books. While rummaging through my to-be-read pile, I came across the “Collected Works of Kahlil Gibran ''. I sat down, flipped the pages and quite coincidentally landed on a story titled “Said a sheet of snow-whited paper.” In no less than 200 words, Gibran talks about how a sheet of paper brags about being “pure and chaste”, and causes the ink-bottle and the multicolored pencils to never approach it. The story ends with the line “And the snow-white sheet of paper did remain pure and chaste forever, pure and chaste - and empty.”
It struck me as something truly deep and meaningful. I realized that unspoken thoughts were the most damaging ones. As a writer, it was my task to pen them down. I reformed the former piece of writing that I had written for the aforementioned competition and put it up on my blog.
A few weeks later, my school counselor came across this very piece of writing, and was enthralled by it. She praised me immensely for my writing skills and offered me a position as the school newspaper editor. I was the only eleventh grader to be given this opportunity.
This was a turning point in my life. I was recognized as a good writer by my peers and my teachers. It was this when I realized that writing, as subjective as it is, is the most important way of communicating as humans. It is what defines us as humans, and all I can do as a writer is give my very best. I also learnt that no matter what the outcome may be, I need to analyze my mistakes, learn from them, and give my very best. Some will appreciate it, and some may not, but as long as I live, I should continue writing. And improving.