My First Inspiration – A Writer’s Journey
I started my writing journey about the time I was ten years old. Many people know this because I tell them that when they ask how long I’ve been writing. I’ve had a few years where I didn’t write between then and now, but all the same I began at ten years old. Back then, it started with writing out various anime scenes because I didn’t like the way my favorite ones ended, or I wanted to put my own spin on certain scenes. I liked making characters for the series so I could interject myself into these fantasy worlds I enjoyed so much. For a time, I stopped writing, and then I remember picking it back up after my dad passed away.
About the end of 8th grade, or maybe it was close to 9th, I began to write a mashup of various characters from anime shows into my own world. I still have that notebook, and at some point, I want to take it and make it something serious.
The point of all this is that my serious love for writing began in the first semester of 10th grade. I had a creative writing elective because I loved writing. I wanted to learn more about it. I remember we covered poetry, and then short stories. Our final project was an 80 to 90-page screenplay. I remember I got a B+ on it. The first person to inspire me was my creative writing teacher, Mr. Warren. People claimed he was a bit ‘crazy’ and a little out of touch with reality. He had schizophrenia, and at the time, I thought it meant multiple personality disorders, but it was that he’d lost touch with reality. He expected us to write up to 10 pages a week or something like that, which for some was reasonable. I believe he realized that might be a little tough for high school students, so he dropped his expectation to around 7 or 8 pages. Looking back, that was nothing compared to college courses. It was still a lot of work, though.
Mr. Warren fostered my love for writing even more. His constant encouragement, his excitement when he spoke about the topic he taught, the topic he loved so much. It’s rare to find teachers who enjoy what they teach, in my experience. His energy was contagious, and many students always felt pumped going into his class. It was my first class of the day and often set the tone for the rest of the day.
I talk about inspirations now and then, pointing to video games that made me realize I wanted to write them, pointing to Stephen King and his ability to write horror, as well as his success. I point to other books, to my family. But for once, I stopped to think… What was my first true personal inspiration? And I look back, and it was Mr. Warren.
So thank you, Mr. Warren, wherever you may be… Whether you’re on this earth or have moved on, or if you’re retired. Thank you for giving me that major spark that led me to pursue this path 13 years later.