The Writer

By Reece Wright

When he was 15, he believed he could be a writer. He believed Shakespeare was fake and he, himself, was an incredible writer. There were no doubts in his mind until asked if the work he was submitting was good. He believed it was good because he wrote it; he wrote it to anger his parents; he angered his parents by writing about them. So, he sent his work to every magazine he could find. Thinking they’d be lucky to read his work. After contacting over 30 magazines, the responses came back within a few months. Every magazine he had emailed had said no. He wondered if they were reading his work or lying and saying they were. He wondered, he wondered. He stopped sending his work to magazines, stopped trying to be seen. The pieces he wrote were gorgeous and meaningful, so he stopped writing them. ‘If they don’t want it, why should I?,’ he thought. 

When he was 16, he stopped being a writer. The articles he wrote had never gotten published and felt meaningless. His school’s literary magazine accepted the most powerful piece he had ever written. He brought his $7 to school and went off to purchase a copy, only to realize his piece was not there. That afternoon, he emailed the editors and never received a response. 

When he was 17, he was getting ready for college. The thought of being a writer again and making his parents angry was appealing. After one attempt at using his favorite pencil to write, he gave up. Instead, he dated a girl named Amber. Amber angered his parents without him having to try. Amber didn’t require him to write or be a writer. His parents got so angry that Amber left, so angry that she moved out of town. 

When he was 18, he went to college. He studied to become a doctor at a community college. There he met a girl in his class, who wasn’t really in his class. She snuck in because she was bored and needed something to occupy her afternoon. With a look over his shoulder, they made eye contact before security bursted in and forced her to leave. After class, he skipped down the steps to walk to his dorm and there she was, waiting. He looked at her and grunted, 

‘Do you usually break into people’s classrooms?’ 

‘You’re angry… understandable if you’re studying to be a doctor.’ 

‘How’d you know that?’ 

‘I think the quote “Incoming Doctor!” on your backpack gave it away.’

‘Oh… right.’ 

The two of them reached his dorm before she asked, 

‘Do you wanna go out?’ 

‘We are out.’ 

‘No, like on a date, I mean.’ 

‘Oh, well- uh.’ 

‘Actually, I should go I-’ 

‘Yes… yes I would.’

‘Cool, I’ll pick you up at 8.’ 

They filled their date with laughter and smiles before she finally mentioned the pending question, 

‘What made you wanna be a doctor?’ 

‘My parents.’ 

‘Oh okay, are they doctors?’ 

‘No, they aren’t… they uh- made me because… I couldn’t decide what to do.’

‘Well… what makes you feel passionate?’ 

‘I guess uh… writing?’ 

‘Oh! You’re a writer?’ 

‘Please don’t call me that… I’m not.’ 

When he was 19, he quit medical school to become a writer. He had been dating the girl that appeared in his class for a year. She encouraged him to write, not to make his parents angry, but to tell stories he wanted to tell. One day, he had spent an entire day fixing and perfecting his pitch to his dream magazine. If they turned him down, then he was going to be embarrassed to call himself a writer. When he told her that the magazine had rejected him, she held his hands and said, 

‘You’re a writer, so write and if people don’t like it, that’s okay… that’s what it means to be a writer.’ 

‘… I’m a writer.’ 

‘Yeah… you are.’ 

When he was 20 years old, he knew he was a writer.

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