I used to think that writing couldn’t possibly influence or affect someone so much. I didn’t expect that the stories I wrote or characters I made up would change someone’s life. I never knew that even my writing can change someone’s emotions.

When my freshman English teacher in high school assigned homework that included writing a scary story, I was intimidated. I typed several drafts at home but was never satisfied with it. I ended up leaving one of the drafts in my sister’s room before I left to school the next morning.

I was surprised to find my sister shaking in fear in her room and my draft on the floor. She had apparently read through it and became scared.

Since elementary, I had been making up and writing (some) of the stories down (incompletely). A girl had made fun of how I was always hunched over some notebook, writing or drawing out a character for character design.

In eighth grade, our teacher assigned us a composition notebook where we would write out a story.

I never finished it, but I always wrote (much, much) more than my teacher’s minimum requirements. Even if it was handwritten instead of typed, I enjoyed writing out the story, even if I had to write thirty pages to turn in instead of the five my teacher asked for.

My classmates always flocked around my desk whenever the teacher would count each page, and a lot more classmates began to ask me about my writing.

But I never liked sharing my stories – ever.

I used to keep around a small but thick notebook and just write in it whenever I had free time or when the lessons or lectures became boring to me. In the first page, I wrote my name and introduced myself and explained my chaotic way of thinking and how it led to writing stories.

Even if I always kept such a heavy notebook around… I forgot it in class one day.

A classmate, who I assumed read the first page and saw my name, gave it back to me and kind of laughed when she told me she thought it was mine.

I hurriedly took the notebook from her, embarrassed.

When I opened the notebook at home and flipped through the pages, I found a note telling me that what I wrote was great and to leave it behind in the same desk again.

I stared blankly at that note.

That girl couldn’t have wrote it. I had seen her bubbly handwriting before, and this chickenscratch couldn’t possibly be hers even if she tried writing this way.

I never shared my stories, but for the first time, some complete stranger just appreciated my writing.


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