Icannot clearly remember my formative years in school. My parents usedto tell me I used to watch cartoons a lot. She would make meflashcards and would play a number of reading games alongside me. Shealso told me that my dad used to take me to the library to readyevery evening. I went to pre-school when I was barely four years old,and then proceeded to Brunswick elementary school. We moved to NewJersey when I was in the middle of fourth grade after my parentsbought a new home there. I transferred to a private school calledPorterhouse. I had an easy time there because of the skills I hadalready learnt in my previous school. The teachers noted that I wasway ahead of the others in class, and would use me to teach otherchildren writing and reading skills. This encouraged me to readwidely every night so that I could have something new to teach therest of my classmates. I enjoyed reading, especially when I couldrelate with the story. Mathematics was problematic for me. I did notlike the subject at all. I started writing for a children’smagazine called Rainbow when I was in fifth grade. I started sendingsome humorous stories gathered from my neighborhood, but with time, Ihad become a regular contributor to the magazine. My writing effortsmade me popular among my peers. My parents noticed my writingpassion, and would be always on the lookout for any writing contestsavailable within the state. I hand participated in a number ofwriting contests by the time I was in the middle of the sixth grade.Although I did not win any of these contest, I really liked thechallenge because of the fame it brought me. The contests also gaveme a lot of exposure to training opportunities. My biggest break camewhen the United States Postal Services organized a writingcompetition for children below the age of 12 in every state throughthe schools. Participants were supposed to write a 100 word letter tothe president about the changes that they would like to see in thenation in the next five years. I was among the ten finalists in ourschool whose letters were selected to represent the school. I did nothave high hopes that my letter would score highly bearing in mindthat there were millions of other children participating in thecontest. The results of the contest were announced after one month.Surprisingly, I was the stop contestant in Burlington County andthird in the entire state of New Jersey. Countrywide, I was among thetop twenty contestants. I received prize money of $500. All the toptwenty contestants were also won a trip to the White House to meetthe president. I became an overnight celebrity in my neighborhood andcounty. My excellence performance in that competition caught theattention of the editors of New Jersey times. They newspaper was atthe time planning to start a pullout for kids in its Sundaynewspaper. The editors approached me to write weekly articles forkids in the pullout. This was a very big opportunity because Istarted earning a monthly salary when I was still in elementaryschool. The opportunity was not only big because of the money Iearned, but also because it brought me into contact with the bestpeople in the world of writing. I used to spend every Saturday at theNew Jersey Post premises with journalists and editors, where Ilearned a lot about various styles of writing.
Oneof the persons who really brought the best out of me was the qualityassurance editor of the weekend newspaper. She was a young lady inher early thirties, and she really liked my effort. She used to spendher free time with me teaching various basics of advanced writingsand exposing me to books and contents that really improved my writingstyle. By the time I joined high school, I graduated to the teensmagazine which also published on Sundays. This was a more challengingrole because the content was more advanced than that of thechildren’s pullout. I would write a weekly inspirational articlethat encouraged teenagers to spend their lives positively. When stillworking at the New Jersey Times, I had a chance to meet a travellingBritish writer known as V.S. Naipul. I had a one hour longconversation with the award winning author of many books, and theinsight from this conversation really changed my approach to writing.Naipul advised me to focus on writing short stories instead ofarticles, and focus my writing career outside journalism. By the timeI was in the middle of high school, I started writing a series calledCity Girl, telling the story of an urban teenage girl who undergoingidentity crisis. By the time the series was in its sixth week, it hadgained massive following within the state. After one year, the serieswas removed from the teen’s magazine, and placed on the SaturdayMagazine, which mainly addressed women and girl issues. I always saythat, though I had been writing for almost my childhood life, and wonawards accolades my encounter with Naipul is the biggest thing thatever happened to my writing career. Though I met him for just anhour, his insights opened new worlds of possibilities for me. Iexpanded my horizons, shifting from journalistic writing to tellingserialized stories. I have been reading Naipul works, and they havereally inspired me to go to the next level. I believe I can be assuccessful as Naipul. Though my peers regard me as the best writer oftheir generation, I still feel that I have a long way to go before Iachieve that status. I am still in the learning process, taking allthe wisdom I can get from established figures in the writingindustry. I believe that I am going to the one of the biggest writersthat America will produce in the near future. At the moment, I amwriting a book, a sarcastic insight into the American Dream. This isone book that will have the whole of America laughing at themselvesbecause of the creative way in which I have packaged it. However, mydream is to win the Nobel Peace Prize for literature in future. Thatis why I am investing my time, energy and resources to ensure that Iachieve this dream.
Naipul,V.S. (2001). Halfa Life.London: Knopf