Who am I as a writer?

Written on September 20th, 2014

As a writer, I am an insomniac, intruder on the sky’s sorrow as rain falls at night, present in the middle of its rage as lightning attacks the world outside my windows and the battle cries of thunder make it past what I can assure you are not soundproof walls.

There is no release for the clouds but to unleash everything on the ground, though I am saved from a similar reaction to the storm inside myself by a pen. There is nothing more beautiful than the raw words of someone who can’t find solace in sleep, nothing more important than the way language can make us laugh, make us yearn, make us feel.

It is this reason that there is no separating Haley Young as a person from Haley Young as a writer. There’s a lot I don’t know, but I can tell you this: as far as I am concerned, to write is to breathe.

As a writer, I am dependent. Words are my drug. Some drink, some smoke, some press blades to their own skin. I write. In the fourth grade my nine-year-old self sat down and wrote a 300 page novel about a lost dog finding his way home.

Little did I know that in the process, I would find where I belonged, too.

I was hooked like a child riding their bike without training wheels for the first time; one whiff of the fresh scent of freedom and there was no turning back. I never did look over my shoulder.

As a writer, I am overdone. I am cliched, and whiney, and all too human all too often. I feel what a thousand people have already felt before me and what a thousand more will feel after, only hoping to put it into words well enough so that those who succeed me will never wake up feeling alone.

I am familiar with the comfort of a book that feels like it was written just for you. One day, I hope to know the joy of creating that gift for someone else.

As a writer, I am stubborn. I am abrasive and brazen and altogether ignorant when things like the rules of punctuation don’t suit my whims. I use semicolons like they’re maple leaves in autumn: always falling around getting caught under your feet. I argued with my seventh grade english teacher for thirty minutes straight on why I should be allowed to use sentence fragments.

As a writer, I am all over the place. I will willingly analyze countless pieces of literature in perfect collegiate level vocabulary, and then write a curling-themed parody to a popular song.

I can’t remember once complaining in these past twelve years of schooling about an essay or a writing assignment. The AP Language and Comp exam was fun.

On paper, I am everything I struggle to be in person. I am bold and unafraid and I know exactly what I need. I can be funny or nostalgic or so heavy that it seems there is no way something as feeble as paper can hold the weight. But the thing about writing? It proves that paper isn’t feeble at all.

As a writer, I am countless things. I am sometimes proud and equally as often, I am embarrassed. Sometimes I’m crying, or laughing so hard that the world spins.

I’ve written to bury the truth as often as I’ve tried to resurrect it. I’m not perfect, and neither are words, but there’s one thing no one will ever take away from me: as a writer, I am complete.