How I Started Writing

Writing an entire story or script can be intimidating, especially when a beginner writer. I always thought writing was fun, but I never genuinely wrote anything unless it was for school. But once COVID-19 came around and the world shut down, I was stuck at home doing nothing. I didn’t get to meet up with friends, walk around school seeing all my classmates, or attend Drama Club where I could let out my emotions and creativity. I needed to get my thoughts, feelings, and ideas out, but I didn’t want to talk to a wall. That’s when I started to write. When I first started about a year ago, I had tons of ideas that I wanted to turn into novels, scripts, and comics. I would start brainstorming and creating an outline, but a few days in I would get stuck or fall in love with another idea. I would start writing only to stop before it’s even close to being a first draft. I decided that I need to at least finish writing one piece. So I decided to write a monologue. 

I don’t remember what I wrote my first monologue about, but all the early ones were the same. Either it was a character deeply in love with someone or a character venting out their anger to someone they love. Although I’m not anywhere close to where I want to be as a writer, I can see clear improvements in my writing. My first pieces didn’t have any original or creative ideas, but they got the point across and that was all I needed to be content. Before I was writing seriously, I was a theater nerd. This helped me write monologues tremendously. I was able to visualize how the character would act it out without even needing the words. My theater teacher at the time would always remind me what was the intention of the character, so I carried that into my writing. I didn’t only think of their feelings and the situation, but also what were the intentions behind their words and actions. This made me think less about writing a masterpiece on the first try and more about getting the message across.

Coming up with a character or plot to write about was as simple as thinking. I just thought about anything that sounded fun to write. Usually it would reflect how I was feeling. If I was angry at someone, chances are I wrote about a character angry at their friend. If I was feeling sad, I would imagine an isolated, depressed kid. Brainstorming off the top worked at first, but often I either end up making very similar looking scripts or coming up with nothing at all. Nowadays, when I’m in the mood to write but have no inspiration, I just go outside. I like to watch people. I know it sounds weird, but I promise I’m not stalking anyone or pestering anyone. I just like to observe little nuances like the way they walk or how they stand. And this is how I get my ideas to write. A lot of people will give advice when you’re having writer’s block, and a common one that I completely support is to go outside. Observing new places, different people, and just focusing on the little things will surely inspire you to write something. 

Another problem I deal with is making my own stories without copying other writers and works. The solution is simple, it’s not possible. It’s not possible to create completely original stories. But what makes it different is the writer. You are unique, therefore everything you write is unique. Even if your story is unintentionally similar to another story, it can still be amazing. In fact, it can be extremely beneficial to watch tons of films and consistently read books to not only build off one’s ideas but also understand how past authors have written masterpieces. Just like how one of the most popular musicals, West Side Story, has the same outline as the timeless story, Romeo and Juliet. And I haven’t heard one person criticize the creators of West Side Story for remaking one of the classic stories. Furthermore, it is important to constantly be writing stories with the same messages and themes so that they can be passed down from generation to generation. 

As much as I struggled to start writing, little did I realize that just starting to write is the easiest part. Having the energy and inspiration to start writing anything is something anybody can have. But to continue to work on that idea and see it to the end is what I believe makes one a writer. It isn’t about publishing a book or gaining acclaim, it’s about making your own work. And that’s the simple response to being a writer. Keep writing.

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