An essay by Reuben Horst
Blood splotches overran the white piece of paper. The red ink was everywhere; showing what was wrong. All of it was wrong. I stared at the object which had once been my essay, now covered in a teacher’s disapproval. I shook my head. I had tried putting my best effort into my work. That had failed. I had tried not trying at all. That, quite obviously, had failed as well. No matter what I did to my writing works, to my essays and my stories, I could never satisfy myself or those who read what I had penned. I began to wonder, would I ever be the writer I wanted to be?
The first decent piece of writing that I ever wrote was a short story about a very strange convenience store on a made-up street in Chicago. It was my first stab at writing after I was exposed to some very well-written books, mainly by an author named Ted Dekker. Determined, I sat down and started writing a story having no idea in mind about how it would turn out. I had a basic idea. I started typing. The words came fluently. When I was done and I read what I had written, I was shocked at how ingenious it was. My family praised my work, and so did many other onlookers. I do believe that reading quality fiction has significantly improved my writing skill.
In early 2010 I started a web log, or “blog,” if you prefer. Though it and its next two incarnations were deleted by inane hosting websites, over the past couple years I have written many articles. Many have been reviews and critiques of various sources of media such as books, movies, video games, et cetera, but I have hosted interviews and giveaways as well. When people viewed my blog, they were impressed that quality writing could actually come from a then-fourteen-year-old boy. Ironically, this both built my confidence and insulted me at the same time, as it meant they initially had low expectations of me.
Time has passed. My writing has improved, but I still have that feeling that I’m not as good as I should be. Friends, family, and everyone else tell me I’m amazing; I have great potential. Why is it so hard to believe them? I have hope that someday I will not only surpass the expectations of those around me, but also my own. For now, however, that is only a far off dream.
Thanks for reading! Now, you all know how much I hate writing essays. But once I'm done, I feel so good that I feel like sharing it with the world! Much sweat and many tears went into this essay. I hope you had more fun reading it than I had writing it!