“Jacob, what do you wish you could have done sooner as a writer?” – The Red Robin Gourmet Burger
It used to be so easy to sit down and come up with mindless adventures, especially as a kid. I grew up in small-town Nampa, Idaho, where the peak of my subjective sublimity was like watching fireworks in the purple skies of every morning, and nothing else. I miss the days where the only qualm coiling around my brain was whether I was going to make it to the library and still have time to select my favorite books, comics, movies, and music, before it closed. But like I said, there was “nothing else,” aside from the consistent writing that resulted in many, many completed journals. I still like to monitor them and either cringe, laugh, or cry over how much my craft improved. While the content was certainly more outlandish and all over the place, respectfully for my age, at the time I was infatuated with only my ideas and where only I could take them.
It wasn’t so much the fear of sharing my work with others that I regret, but it’s the fact that I could have taken these journals somewhere more distinguished. I shared my creations with friends and family, but it’s only when I got older, I realized “Oh, these people are great, but they don’t give me the feedback I need.” It’s nice to hear people say, “I love your stuff,” or “I really like this character because they’re funny,” but it goes to no end.
I wish I joined more writing clubs and engaged a more assertive participation in the English department, throughout high school. I didn’t do much after hours, even when I was still jobless, playing video games, and goofing off with my friends. If you’re passionate for what you’re pursuing, especially as a younger individual, it’s within your every right to dive further. I didn’t fully ponder this until after I graduated high school, when everything really starts to slip through your fingers. Join clubs, get outside, ask a lot of questions, even if it annoys people, not just for the sake of improving as an artist but also for the benefit of your happiness, flexibility, and tenacity. High school was a butt, as I’m sure others agree, but there are plenty of open windows for beginners. Unfortunately, I missed out. Alas, growth has never slipped from my fingers—and with this humility, I’ve at least gained something.