If there’s anything I remember, it’s my first. Everything is still clear to me in vivid detail, like I could relive it again and again–the time of day, my position, the pencil scraping against the paper.
Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m referring to the first story I ever wrote? Because I am. What else could i possibly mean?
When I was in third grade, I wrote a short story (emphasis on the short—it was about a page front and back, but my handwriting was massive) about a girl who’s dared to enter a haunted toy shop on Halloween and is never seen again. The piece ends with a quasi-existential monologue about whether or not she should haunt the friends who dared her in the first place.
Of course, it was still a pretty horrible story, plus I wrote my S’s backwards throughout the whole thing, but it was my first. It was The One. That thing I kind of just wrote, only to realize afterward that I loved writing it. Like, a lot.
That was in no way my epiphany moment about wanting to be a writer since at that point I was still set on being Britney Spears when I grew up, but it was a start. It was the inciting incident. It was what made me continue writing.
We all have that piece. The one that lights the spark. The one that sucks so hard, we seriously debate building a bonfire at the beach to burn all traces that we were ever anything less than stellar writers.
But to that, I say don’t. Don’t ever ever ever burn your writing, no matter how mortifying it is.