When I was a little girl, I used to dream of being a fashion designer until I realized that I could not draw or design anything worthwhile. Then my energy led me to the road of writing. I can still remember my third grade teacher encouraging me to write whatever it was that I wanted. At the time, however, I had no clue that writing would be the thing I would live for.
It was not until I turned 13 that my writing began to mean something to me. At that time, I was signed up for a journalism class to take as an elective. As I began to write articles for my school paper and receive encouragement from my journalism teacher, I began to realize that writing was my calling. I have always been shy around people and I knew that writing would be just the thing to make my voice heard.
It was then that I started on my quest to become a writer. I started to buy notebooks that I had planned to fill with stories. I bought journals in which I could write my every thought. I would write poems, some of which I would show off to people to see what they thought. Instead of praising me, these people told me that they thought my poems were horrible, which ended up discouraging me instead of motivating me to keep going.
Then my writing quest took a deeper dive downhill when a guy who I was desperate to impress told me that my writing was terrible and that he hated it. For some strange reason, I believed him. Since then, I always felt that my writing was indeed bad and I would never become the writer that I dreamed of being. So I stopped writing entirely, except when it was required for a class.
All of that changed when I was a junior in high school. I was part of a group called Upward Bound. Our group was told that the Los Angeles Society had chosen our group to display our literary works. I decided that I was going to prove myself, as well as the guy that mocked me, wrong. I submitted a short story I had written for my English class as an assignment to the Society.
In a shaky voice during the reception, I read it out loud to the audience. At some point, I was pretty sure they would “boo” me off the stage. What I heard instead was a loud applause for my story. Afterward, many people told me how much they enjoyed it. One person went as far to say I should be a writer. I remember staring at that person in disbelief. But it was then that I remembered my dream. Since then, I have worked hard to achieve my dream as a writer.
While I still have my doubts, especially when I read my colleagues’ stories on the Campus Times and the La Verne Magazine, I know that the only thing that I can do is keep trying to become a better writer.
I still remember the day that a Campus Times colleague last year told me that my writing had improved tremendously. She’s right, I have indeed improved and yet I also know that there is still more that I need to learn.
I know now that there will be times when I will be presented with obstacles that prevent me from moving forward in my writing. I also have every intention to keep going and not give up as easily as I used to.
And as for the guy that made fun of me, we are still friends and he is one of my supporters, he always waits in anticipation for my latest articles from the Campus Times. By the way, thanks Mr. DeCoudres and Ms. Buckles, you helped me become the writer that I am today. I have no intention of letting you or myself down.
Julia Carachure, a junior journalism major, is assistant managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.