For the love of writing
Discovery, if not the truest form of learning, is at least the form that has taught me the most about myself and the extent of my abilities. At age 15, I was given the most open-ended assignment of my entire education, which made it certainly the most difficult to complete and by far the most worthwhile. I was to spend a minimum of an hour each weekday for at least one full semester completing a project to be displayed at the district Gifted Expo in late May incorporating in-depth research and personal creativity in an area of my choice with the guidance of a mentor.
Because I was so used to working within specific parameters, I struggled to choose an area of study. The summer before sophomore year, an idea came to me that eventually became my project. I wanted to write a book about a teenage dancer who suddenly loses her hearing and title it “Deaf Girls Don’t Dance.” It wasn’t until January that I realized that writing the book was the perfect idea for my project because it combined my two passions, writing and dance, with deafness, a topic I’d always been interested in but never really explored.
Starting in January, I asked my seventh grade English teacher to be my mentor throughout the process and began researching deafness, poring through a variety of medical books to find something that would cause complete and sudden deafness in an average teenager.
The writing process fluctuated day to day, but over the course of about four months, I wrote a minimum of seven hours a week, sometimes writing four hours a day. Although I got a little behind schedule and had to have the copies of my book expedited, I pulled it all together in the end and made it to expo with my book completed and self-published. As I presented my project to expo visitors, I felt like I’d accomplished something incredible.
The whole process of my project taught me so much about what I am capable of. By age 16, I had reached a life goal: writing and publishing a full-length novel. I now know that I can do anything if I put my mind to it because I have the intrinsic motivation to fight for what I want. Once I’d written a book, I knew I had the potential for more, and I pursued this by working hard for the school newspaper and finally reaching my goal of becoming the editor-in-chief. By discovering my inner talent and strength, I have been inspired to strive for excellence and continue my writing, which I now know I can make into a career.