In third grade, I hated creative writing because my teacher’s examples for every literary device were always about his cup of coffee. Coffee was gross, and thus, writing was lame.
Today, I live in New York and understand where he was coming from.
I think “writing” started to turn around for me when I got addicted to Runescape. I spent way too much time in Runescape’s forums and developed a modest following of other lonely adolescents who liked my medieval stories. Off-forum, I wrote a lot of super emotional poems and songs, retyped pages of Harry Potter to feel what it felt like to be Jo herself, and started literally dozens of novels I never finished (although one got to page 67).
The real magic happened when I read JUNO in high school. Did you know Diablo Cody sums Jennifer Garner’s character up as “Very Banana Republic.” Like, wow. That was insane to me. How could you possibly describe that character better? You can’t. I was in love.
Eventually, I committed the unforgivable sin of leaving Kentucky and going to NYU Tisch to study film and screenwriting. After a lot of soul-searching and therapy, I realized I want to write scripts for kids that show them they aren’t alone. I wish there had been more fun movies in the early 2000s that subliminally told me I deserved to be treated with love, compassion, and respect—and not just in a fluffy way. The best I can do is make sure there are some like that in the 2020s.
In sum: I wish I wrote INSIDE OUT, Kentucky is weird, and I now believe that you can never write too much about coffee.