Most of you know that I started writing when I was nine. I also published my first poem when I was nine. It was titled “An Ode to Winter”.
The poem wasn’t very good but the newspaper published it anyway. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t know I wanted to be a poet until a year later. I was ten and I fell in love.
I got bullied a lot. The only place I felt like I belonged was the school library. In there I was surrounded by my heroes. Amy Tan, Stephen King, Langston Hughes, Jane Austen, Ann M. Martin, and a long list of others. They saved me. I was safe. But I didn’t fall in love until I came across Tupac Shakur. I was sort of the librarian’s favorite and she let me check out the collection of poetry before any of the other kids.
I read it in one night once I got home. Then I read it again. I read the whole book a total of three times. Then I read it to my mother probably a hundred times.
Growing up I listened to Tupac. But this was different. This is when I fell in love with poetry. I was ten and in love. I was ten and I wanted to change the lives of others with my writing (I still hope I will be able to do that someday).
I think after reading that collection of poetry I made it a goal to become a writer. That’s all I wanted. In my early twenties there was a short time where I wondered if I was doing the right thing. My hometown isn’t very supportive of other writers and a lot (not all) of the people can be really nasty and rude just to make sure they are known as the best writer, that’s why I keep to myself and found a more friendly group of writers when I went to college. So I spent a lot of time wondering if it was the right choice. I think every artist goes through self doubt. It happens, but you remember why you wanted to be an artist or writer in the first place.
I rediscovered the book that made me fall in love The Rose that Grew From Concrete. I remembered how Tupac Shakur spoke to me. Growing up where I grew up wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t the only thing I had going for me. I remembered that I was a writer and I could go anywhere with that skill.
For the past couple of years, with a completed novel, published poetry, published articles, and a short story collection in the works I am in love again.
I fall in love everyday with the career I chose, all thanks to Tupac Shakur.