19 comments

Submitted on 06/20/2020

Categories: General

“When you kill someone, their remaining lifespan is added to yours”

Well yes, that’s interesting, but I don’t know if I’m creative enough to do that justice…

Your landlord is a vampire, so he offers you a deal”

Now that’s a little too creative, what the hell am I supposed to do with that, a romance novel? You know from experience how saturated that market is. 

I sighed as my exploits via the Instagram explore page resolved in failure. It’s not like I dreamt of writing some best-selling novel or anything. I just wished I could reignite the spark of my childhood love for literature. Back when I would spend hours with my nose buried deep in a story about orphaned children and a strange Count. Then open a new realm right after that. Now I have a lower attention span than a goldfish.

I resignedly reopened Instagram and continued my marathon of scrolling through mildly entertaining videos. I have other hobbies. I play piano, guitar, ukulele. I can draw/paint/etc (I have a public art account, wow isn’t she quirky). I drown in anime. And here I was, wasting hours on an app.

My aim in life is to satisfy my ceaseless curiosity. I wonder about everything in the world, how it works. I want to have my foot in every faucet, every talent, and excel in it. To amass total knowledge. Sure, I do well in school, but that’s easy.

“2x+4=10, x=3”

“King Henry VIII had wanted to divorce his wife so he started a new religion”

“Helium’s two valence electrons makes it a brat”

“Lucie should have picked Sydnee”

That last bit is an opinion I suppose more than fact, sorry if that spoiled anything for you. 

I have these lofty goals, but it doesn’t ever feel like I’m working towards them. People in my family say I’m gonna do great things, but am I really?

I haven’t started a business, I don’t have great success in the stock market. I’m not the head of a million clubs at school. I just am slightly above average in a variety of things. I’m not even exemplary in the social chain. Most people think I’m nice, but I’m certainly not “the nicest”. But I’m not “the meanest” by any means either. 

I suppose I just want validation for my merits, something that I deserve and have put work into. But then. Here I am. Scrolling through Instagram instead of putting in the effort that my peers do to attain that prestige that I crave.

I probably sound selfish. I only want to do great things so that I feel nice, not for the better of the world. Probably has something to do with my refusal to believe in a higher purpose…

Bored of the same videos of fellow homosexuals complaining about their similar inadequacies, from life skills to romantic fears, I decided to turn to the people in my own circles. The flashing colors of stories caught my eye (as I’m sure the developer intended), and I opened them up, clicking through with half my focus. Usually, they would be stuffed full of memes or funny twitter screenshots. Occasionally you would see friends being friends and taking cute pictures.

Recently, I’ve been clicking through post after post about the Black Lives Matter movement. Stats. Opinions. Arguments. Any fuel to use against a racist or ignorant relative. I love how passionate my generation is, biting at the bit for change. I am in awe of my classmates fighting for their beliefs. I envy them. I didn’t know how I could make a difference when my own illnesses trapped me inside my house. I wished I could be protesting by their sides.

Then I came across an ad. $50 prize for writing. Normally I ignore such things, but as I am unable to work and trying to save up for a trip, I checked it out. A website for writers. Five prompts per week, and a chance to win money. Seemed like a no brainer.

I opened my Google Docs app, neglected until that moment. A prompt about action. I wracked my brain for something other than the obvious. I thought of things that came together. Then I was struck. I spent the entire day before it’s submission date perfecting my first work.

I had no hope of winning, just thought it would be a nice start, a way to stay sharp during my school breaks, motivated by a cash prize. I saw that rather than an individual prize, this week 5 winners would be chosen and allowed to send money to a BLM charity of their choice. Cool. 

I automatically started to debate hypothetically who I would send to, weighing options in my head, because why not? It crossed my mind that it would be sad that the winners wouldn’t get their own prizes, but there was always another competition, and the idea of being a part of something beneficial to the movement shaping the world excited me.

I started to read other people’s writings. In all honesty, I thought I’d scope out my competition. I was shocked at what I found. Words as eloquent as my own, many moreso,  strewn delicately in traditional structures or splattered in new creative painted tales of life and fantasy.

This website offered me more than just money.

I could critique and marvel at other’s work. I could make friends online with similar interests. I never once fell upon a negative comment, everything was supportive and amiable. I got feedback on my own work that gave me that little ego boost I needed, but I knew it was genuine and honest. I fell in love. 

Not only was my desire to read and learn rekindled, I wanted to be like the great writers I found. I wanted to use my wit for something other than snarky comments and petty arguments that I previously used as my outlet for mental exercise. To hone my skills. To join this little in number, but priceless in worth of a community.

So when I won the contest, you can imagine my reaction. I was smiling all morning. Beaming. Then the feedback I received was enough to almost bring me to tears. People I hadn’t even met offering their praise, people who were esteemed in the community, not tearing me down, but building me up. 

I’ve been here for almost exactly a week. I suppose most would assert that’s not enough time to make a judgment, but I disagree. I am a critical person, but I anticipate so much from this little place called Reedsy.

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19 comments

Aqsa Malik
22:33 Jun 20, 2020

W-wOW omfg. This is so authentic, I feel like an intruder who stumbled upon your inner most thoughts and feelings 😳 I love how natural this was-how it told a story that was obviously inspired by reality, and that's exactly why it was so relatable. I found myself nodding my head at parts like "playing the ukulele" (because same) and trying to get back into writing, even though it's literally one of the hardest things ever. Also the part where you praise the tenacity and unity of our generation, because I totally agree. Literally suc...

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Raven Quill
03:09 Jun 21, 2020

Thank you so much! I was actually mildly concerned about being so exposed so I'm so relieved you relate! And yessss getting back into writing is sooooo harddddd. Also, cool that you play too! It's such a fun little instrument :) BUT YES OMG WE CAN TAKE DOWN ANYTHING HAHA Anyways. Thank you again and again. I was like broken happy lol. Much appreciated :D

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Jn Park
05:48 Jun 27, 2020

So is this a real story about you? But whether it is or not this story is a comfort and empathy for all the reedsy writers. I've been here for almost 4 weeks and I think this is incredible too:) I also want to congratulate you again because not many writers can win rhe contest on their first submissions. Hope you can keep up with your excellent writing through this website!

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Raven Quill
20:42 Jun 27, 2020

Yes it is. But I'm so glad it was relatable. Newbie buddies!! XD But thank you so so much, you as well!!

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Harken Void
12:50 Jun 23, 2020

Such honesty, thank you for sharing :) I think we can all relate to what you've written about the Reedsy community, it's truly a glimmering gem in the sea of broken glass. Thanks for reminding me that I should be more grateful for discovering this site! That first line got me chuckling. Death Note, I presume? Also, I love the tittle. Well played, sir, well played. You wrote that you have lofty goals, but feel like you ain't doing enough to achieve them. I can relate to that. Perhaps finding this site and winning the first entry is a c...

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Raven Quill
18:09 Jun 23, 2020

Of course!! And I both fully agree and love that metaphor! Actually I was referencing the writing prompts Instagram account, but YOU'RE SO RIGHT I DIDN'T EVEN THINK OF THAT AND I LITERALLY PAINTED RYUK ON MY WALL XDDD. But thank you, I didn't want to make it suuuuuper clear what it was about before you started reading so I'm glad you liked my little play on words haha. Well it's cool you relate, but I'm also sorry you relate if that makes sense lol. And yes, I hope so, and it was really really encouraging. Thank you again!! I try to...

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Harken Void
18:32 Jun 23, 2020

Haha, I guess the more obvious a thing is, the more likely we are to miss it. Nah, it's cool. It helps remind me I'm not the only one striving to achieve goals. You're welcome :) Looking forward to more of your insane stories!

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07:04 Jun 20, 2020

You are not alone! I read this story after reading the other one that won... I swear that for most of this one I thought I was reading my thoughts! And as a matter of fact I chose the same prompt to develop! It’s great to have found Reedsy! Keep it up!

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Raven Quill
15:27 Jun 20, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm glad it's so relatable :)))

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Grace M'mbone
06:02 Jul 09, 2020

This was brilliant. Amazing. Wow. I am blown away. You are a great writer by the way. I love everything about your narrative here. Well chosen,well developed. I mean wooow. It would be a real honour if you just critic one of my stories. Please keep up the good work. Please keep writing.

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Raven Quill
03:10 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you so much! That means a lot! And for sure, I'll take a look :)

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Henry Herrera
06:38 Jun 26, 2020

I guess it's just so cool that you can win with just writing your first story. I don't think anyone had ever won with their first story so this would be a incredible and magical experience! I think you could also thank the ad which brought you this pretty big change in your life. I'm also new here and had just wrote my first story too, I hope you could check it out! Thank you very much!

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Raven Quill
14:31 Jun 26, 2020

Yes it was so cool! And yes, every time I see that little ad I kinda smile XD. Also, welcome I guess haha, I'll be sure to check it out :)

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Henry Herrera
03:34 Jun 27, 2020

Thank you! :D

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Raven Quill
20:40 Jun 27, 2020

Of course!

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Dobby's Sock
13:38 Jun 22, 2020

I felt like I was spilling out my own brain at parts while I read this entry. I like how it spirals in the end to talking about the previous contest. One more thing I noticed is how you made what seems like a journal entry into a short story. Overall it is a pleasant effort. Would you mind giving me feedback on my last story? The one titled "First of Many"? It would be very considerate of you. Thanks!

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Raven Quill
14:08 Jun 22, 2020

Thank you so much!! And sure, no problem :)

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Batool Hussain
11:45 Jun 21, 2020

Wow! This is amazing just like any other of your stories! Kudos to you for describing everything so well. Will you mind checking my recent story out? Thanks.

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Raven Quill
15:38 Jun 21, 2020

Well thank you! And sure :)

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