There is something undeniably beautiful about words. About their nuances, their subtleties, their unspoken syllables and their quiet connotations. About the way that they slip, unnoticed, through the human heart. They are mere snapshots, stray thoughts like butterflies caught from the air and pressed into the page. And yet, wind rolls off their wings and ripples through nations, leaving thousands, even millions, swaying in their wake.
To write is to fall in love with language, not because of the power that it can wield, but because of its truth and the untapped beauty that lies within each word. To write is to peel back the folds of human nature with a pen and a bottle of ink, and to embrace the right and the wrong and everything in between. It is to love life and to hate it, and to delve into the graying depths of the human soul. To dream and to put down on paper what others dare not think. The end is unlike any other – more satisfying, and more honest. But the journey is long, and the road is hard.
It all begins with a seed. A flicker of thought, a snippet of a memory, a figure glimpsed out of the corner of an eye. An old man with a broken umbrella. A roaring train. A young girl pouring cold lemonade over her brother’s head. It is easy to brush these visions away, far out of memory’s reach. But to write is to notice them and to bring them into the light. To spill them out onto the page in a wave of unfiltered, unburdened words.
The first draft. A tangle of phrases, misspelled and misplaced, often senseless and never quite what they should be. It’s a scrap pile of language; the whole is not yet greater than the sum of its parts. But to write is to search, and to find something glowing there, amid the thinly veiled clichés and the half-formed thoughts. The seed -- still small, perhaps, and still fresh -- but there is nothing quite like it in the world.
To write is to rewrite. These are the words of Ernest Hemmingway and E. B. White, Roald Dahl and Stephen King. A mantra shared among generations of writers; an inescapable truth. Behind every book, every poem and every line, there are scores of deleted letters, discarded pages, scribbles and arrows and footnotes running down the paper like tired scars. To write is to rewrite. Phrase by phrase, letter by letter, carving away at the words until they ring true.
It’s exhausting, even frustrating, and yet somehow, it’s exhilarating. Because to write is to seize humanity in all its glory and all its shame and all its strength and all its weakness, and to scratch it into the page, one word at a time. One thought at a time. And then, to wrap it all in paper and send it into tomorrow.
To write is to pass a life with a pen in hand, embracing humanity through language. To write is to spin realities into dreams.
I'm a high school senior from Millburn, NJ.