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Did I have a talent?

By Adeline Ike

I grew up with four siblings older than me. I always thought they were so much better and smarter than me. I always thought they got to do grown-up things. And as the years went by, they seemed more talented than me.

Destiny was the oldest. She could write and basically run the house. Nathan was the next oldest. He seemed way more awesome than any boy. Hannah could sing and play piano and guitar. Ashlyn could draw amazing pictures. And once my mom started having more kids, Tabetha could cook and fish well. Wesley was smart with computers and could figure anything out. Sariah could play piano, William was good at making the younger kids cry, and Karalee was good with the babies and too sweet to live in this world. (Wyatt, Nicholas, and Zechariah are still too young) but they sure are smart.

While I? I could only tell people that I watched babies all day. I will not forget people's awkward smiles when I told them, "My talent is watching kids."

So I took a hold of it quickly. I realized that I loved reading and that even from a young age, I wrote stories on my Kindle. And I thought to myself, "Since I'm homeschooled and am basically at the house locked up all day—in other words, 'Rapunzel'—I thought, why not write about someone who does have an adventure or someone who does have an interesting life?" so that's what I did. I wrote when I was angry, sad, or happy. It was my way of letting everything out.

I remember getting very angry after watching a documentary about WWII. I saw all the dead bodies piled on top of each other. I never in my life saw something so terrible. I immediately grabbed my laptop and started writing about an angry character like me. I ended up calling the book Wicked World because the character just couldn't see the good in the world. That book ended around 46,000 words with not even the best storyline, but I sure did learn from it. And it started my writing adventure.

I also learned that a story could go a hundred different directions because I wrote that book on the fly. I surprised myself when I made my character do something as random as turning down a road and then getting caught in a chase.

I fell in love with the idea of making people up. It was fun. Especially when you know people are shaped by how they were raised.

So my dad bought me some lectures when he knew how serious I was about writing. I devoured those classes and learned even more. I started working on short stories more instead of overwhelming myself with a big old book. I started plotting instead of writing on the fly.

Soon, I found myself in the car with my mom and sister Ashlyn, confused. My mom was saying something about writing for the paper in town. I didn't even know there was a paper in town, to be honest. So when I arrived at the Crossroads Chronicle, I had butterflies in my stomach. I kept saying, "What am I doing?"

Well anyway, I found out I had to write short stories for the paper. I was scared. I was only 15 years old, and the only person that read my stories was my sister Tabetha. And they wanted me to put them in the paper for everyone to read?!

My sister Ashlyn and I worked together. We did what we could. I wrote the story; she drew the picture. It was fun working together. And we learned a lot. It kinda forced me to be more open with my parents about writing too. And my siblings loved reading all my stories. Especially the Terror of Doom one that I wrote for the paper.

Well, now I'm almost 17 years old. I'm not perfect with my writing, but I put much time into it. It's what I want to do for a living. So I know I have to put my all into it. And when someone asks me what I do, I say, "I write for the newspaper in town." or when they ask what I want to be, I say, "I want to be an author."

A dream isn't impossible to chase. This experience showed me that. So if you're wondering what in the world you are good for or what your talent is, try new things. Don't be afraid to get out there. Or if you like doing something you think others will laugh at, just push those people aside and show them up. God made every human being intelligent. We can all achieve anything if we put our brains up to it.

Ike family