I fell in love with writing when I was in second grade. That year, I participated in a statewide poetry contest, and I was just sure that my poem would win. It went something like this:
Mountains stand so very high
Way above the trees
They stand so high
They touch the sky
Now that’s hard to believe
They’re blue with white
Right on the top
A very pretty view
God made those pretty mountains
From Him to me and you
Being the budding artist that I was, this poem was written on top of a colored pencil drawing of mountains (purple mountains, of course). I handed in the poem proudly, my name neatly printed below the title, sure that I would win first prize.
For weeks, I waited in anticipation of the results. Finally, my teacher announced that the results were in, and that she would announce the winner late that day. I waited impatiently, glancing nervously at my teacher, wondering when she would finally tell us who won.
Finally, the time came. My teacher stood in front of the class and cleared her throat. She looked at a piece of paper in her hands and announced the third place winner, a name I didn’t recognize. Then, I heard my name: second place. Finally, I heard my best friend’s name: first place.
Yeah, I was disappointed that I didn’t win. But then again, I’d placed in a statewide poetry contest. In my little second grade brain, it was like winning a silver medal in the Olympics.
That day of failure is the day I started to love writing. Since then, I’ve had a fondness for the written word, a respect for the impact that language has on our lives.
I realize that I deviated a bit from the prompt, but that’s okay. That’s my favorite part about writing: It takes you where it will, and you must be willing to go along for the ride.