If I take five second of time, and think back to the first time I felt a desire to create something, I only go back twelve years.
Approximately twelve years ago, maybe closer to eleven, I was a junior in high school. I was in “honors english” and loved to read and write, which holds true today. That five seconds of thinking takes me back to a night that I couldn’t sleep. I had an idea. A story. And nothing I did to try to sleep was working. I had to write, otherwise I wouldn’t get any sleep before my alarm went off the next morning.
I had a desk in my bedroom, located at the foot of my bed sometimes, or somewhere else, in a different arrangement of the furniture, at other times. That night I rolled out of bed, shuffled over to my desk, turned on my desk light, pulled out a spiral bound notebook and a pen, and began to write. I’m not sure how long I stayed up writing that night, but I wrote what I had to write, closed the notebook, turned off the light, and laid back down in bed to sleep, which came quickly.
The next morning I remember waking up with a foggy memory of the previous night. After getting out of bed I went over to the desk and flipped open the notebook, reading the first few lines of what I wrote. It wasn’t that bad, actually. Not for writing it on a whim.
That week I would spend time at school and after school cleaning up the story. Adding details, removing details, and going through what I thought was an extensive editing process. Once I had it cleaned up I came up with a title, Freedom Shot, and a subtitle of One Shot. One Man. One Country’s Freedom.
My english teacher, Mrs. Neis, loved it. She would always cheer my fiction writing, and criticize my analysis of Shakespeare. I turned the finished product in for extra credit (103% applied as two test grades) and for her red pen. This is the one and only copy I still have. The soft copy might be on an old hard-drive somewhere, but finding the hard drive may be difficult.
This is a time that I remember having an urge to create something. An urge that I could not quiet until acted upon.
The story I wrote did not stop there. In the same manilla office folder is another story called Freedom Shot. It has the same subtitle, but instead of saying “A Short Story” it says “A John Gloove Adventure.” Apparently I wasn’t finished with the story. This too was turned in and graded. And also marked up with Mrs. Neis’ red pen.
Maybe Freedom Shot and John Gloove is an adventure that will be revisited. Maybe not. The point is that something was created. And that’s all that really matters.