Culture, Culture + Taste

I was six when I thought my books would be bestsellers

They were bestsellers, I believed, until that moment outside, when reality hit far too close to home.

I have an obsession with words.

Words are my breath, intoxicated by conjunctions, plural multiplying word unto word.

I am obsessed with the feeling of hand cramps after a rampage of stories has been unleashed on to paper.

Words are breath, intoxicated by conjunctions, plural multiplying word unto word. Click To Tweet

In all honesty, I can say that I came here to write, even when the letters are uneven soldiers fighting to carve their initials into flaked wood for a single thought. I have wished, prayed, and dreamt of some day being a published author. It’s a dream everyone has at one point: Maybe you aren’t writers, perhaps you don’t even want to write and it’s just the illusion that holds you captive. That someone could be interested in reading something that has your name on it has a certain ring to it.

Even better, that something you thought up is alive, talking words in someone else’s head, giving off a different vibe and personality then you had intended. It’s absolutely beautiful.

I remember my first ‘publishing’ stint like the embarrassing idea was- as I then thought- a good idea.

I had gathered my paper books I had compiled over the two day span it took to pop them out, and sat outside on the stringy grass lawn, expecting a crowd to appear and sell out the stand. Someone from the Scholastic publishing company would smile and start singing like it was High School Musical for me to sell the rights, and I would laugh in my sisters’ faces because, you know, I was a published author, a grown woman!

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It was a good idea, I supposed.

Ten minutes later (it felt like hours) I had given up, and I ran inside, melancholy shadowing over me. The questions that followed were what made me reevaluate my motives.

Were my stories not good enough for a world ridden with parasitic ideas that sucked the life out of you? I had written a series based on Ella, a magical girl that could talk to animals and saved them from witches and the dust that lurked under their beds (inspired by my allergic twin). They were bestsellers, I believed, until that moment outside, when reality hit far too close to home.

I wasn’t writing because what I was saying was a memoir. Click To Tweet

If the stories I told weren’t interesting, why did I do it?

It was in that moment I knew.

I sat my six year old butt down on the swivel chair and started to write.

I wasn’t writing because what I was saying was a memoir. I didn’t try to be poetic or exceed someone’s expectations with a bestseller, not even a heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and betrayal.

I started to write for myself.

How I wanted my story to go didn’t entirely depend on Scholastic’s publishing parameters, or my sisters’ praise. It was my obsession to write as it is your instinct to breath – and the best part?

My words are those your mind has uttered. Scholastic, here I come.

Silla Alawa

Silla Alawa

Silla Alawa is the Social Media Director. She spends her time writing angsty poetry and struggling with main-stream ignorance. Her pet peeves include a) kindles and b) slow wifi. Don't ask her what she does in her free time.

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