Passion for Writing

Passion for Writing by Charlotte MeertOver the next few weeks our summer interns will share their writing experiences with us. Finlay went first. Today we hear from Charlotte:

Passion for Writing
by Charlotte Meert

I started really writing in 1st grade. I wasn’t homeschooled yet, but my mom read us stories every night. From the moment I could understand what a story was, I wanted to write.

My teacher at the time had a certain policy. We were to write one to two pages of anything we wanted, every day in class. We weren’t allowed to go home until we had something we could show her. I guess the habit stuck. I still write mainly by hand in notebooks, and what I love I type into the computer.

After 4th grade and some nasty school experiences, my mom kept me home. I flourished, and wrote more and more, even dabbling in poetry a little. I discovered a passion for fiction and for creating characters out of whatever inspiration I could find. The beauty of it was that with homeschooling, I had as much time as I wanted.

Passion for Writing by Charlotte MeertMy junior year of high school, I went back to a brick and mortar. It was unpleasant, to put it lightly. The classes were so far behind where I had been at home, I was incredibly bored. So I wrote. I could never finish anything, but it was comforting to disappear inside my notebook pages and forget that all my friends were homeschooled, and not in the building with me.

The English teacher was the only one who noticed. She issued me a challenge. If I could finish a story by the end of the year, I would get an automatic A. She’d help me edit, and then find a publisher, but I had to be done within the nine month period. If I didn’t finish, I’d fail the class. I worked my butt off. I wrote every day–ten, twenty pages, sometimes more. I did little else at school, and relaxed at home. My lunch breaks were writing breaks, my free period, same, my study hall, same. It’s really quite useful to write by hand, as teachers seemed to think I was working on assignments for their classes. And it worked! I wrote a 250 page novel on Russian spies in less than nine months. True to her word, my teacher helped me edit.

Then, quite suddenly, she disappeared. Her email stopped working, and her phone. No one seems to know where she went. I was accepted by a publisher within six months of having finished editing with a professional’s help. I was never able to find that teacher again. I asked the school’s principal, who should really know where his staff vanish to, and he told me she was in London. Another staff member extended condolences, telling me she’d died, while a third told me she’d divorced and moved to Miami. As far as I know, she was single when I knew her. Maybe she was CIA, or part of an underground movement for the liberation of chipmunks. At least I seem to have my next inspiration for a novel.

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