Writing Has Saved My Life
How Writing Stories Has Literally Saved My Life
Since I was six years old, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I remember the thing that inspired me was Studio Ghibli’s fantasy movies—they touched my heart and I wanted to make stories like that, too.
I started writing fantasy. I wrote my first novel at the age of eight and I still have it, it still makes me laugh when I read through. It was a bizarre story about a girl of whom went camping to a forest and had her family turned into seeds due to a curse, it turned out this was the "teleporting forest," of which took the form of other forests. And somehow, the only way the main character could get her family back was by going through a maze to hell and killing the devil with her spirit. Bizarre, I know.
I read quite a lot but I never really bought my own books and instead, I would read them from the school library. Unfortunately, this meant I was rarely able to find any fantasy books that weren't extremely childish. Most of the books I read as a child were by Jaqueline Wilson, I found her style intriguing. She always sounded so genuine—everything she wrote sounded realistic—and this wasn't what I wanted in my stories. So I observed the way she wrote her stories and wrote in almost the complete opposite way.
A teacher once told me that my ideas were amazing and unique, but my description was never detailed enough—since then, I've only been praised for my description.
We were learning about Greek mythology in year five (age 9-10) which was definitely another huge inspiration for my crazy stories. I've always thought it's insane how stories can shape real people's lives. How fictional characters can have such an impact on the way people live.
Personally, I would always try to copy characters I'd read about. I would try to make my life as perfect as theirs.
At eleven, I started suffering from major anxiety and depression. I would go to school and not speak a word to anyone until I got home. I got into a lot of trouble because of this. I would constantly have panic attacks and I would feel sick. All day, I would feel like sleeping just to get through the day without hassle. The only thing that made me happy was writing. I would keep a notebook with me all day and publish on a site called Wattpad. Ideas came so easily and still to this day, I haven’t ever suffered from writer's block. Writing was the only thing I felt I was good at.
At twelve, I started getting even more insane panic attacks. They were horrible. I started frequently struggling to go into class because of them. Every night, I would cry until I fell asleep.
At thirteen, I had just about had enough of life. I would cry myself to sleep. But I decided I couldn’t die—because I needed to become a writer.
A couple of times, I would open my window and look out onto the road below and at all the cars whizzing by. I knew if I jumped, it would be over. But every time, I would just think about how disappointed my younger self would be. I used to tell everyone I refused to die until I became a writer. What would I be proving if I killed myself?
If anyone reading this has ever considered suicide, just remember the thing that matters most to you. Perhaps it's your family or a hobby. And just know that if you died, people would care so much. Everyone you know would miss you, even if you think they don’t like you. Never stop doing what you love because that thing you love might literally save your life.