Peer Review by Vannah (United States)

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How Writing Changed Me

By: ~Kate T

I like to think that I was born a writer. That the second I came into this world, some god had pointed his finger at me and said, "That girl is going to be a writer." I was always a quiet kid, and people often asked me what I was thinking about. My response was always the same, "I'm thinking of a story." When I was younger, I always included myself in these stories. Running from the government, fighting evil. I spent much more time inside my head than I did in the outside world.

When I was eight, we moved from our small town in South Carolina, to Munich, Germany. Snap, just like that, my life changed. We went from living in a rural area to a big city. Giant house, to a tiny apartment. Car to a subway. English to German. 

 On the first day of school, I met a girl named Chiara. I was the first to talk to Chiara, the first to ask her where she was from. Chiara had seemed so shy, but later on, I saw another side of her. Chiara was rebellious and spirited. Not afraid of anything. She had a natural kind of charm, a type of confidence that showed in how she walked and talked. Without knowing a thing about her, you could just look at her and say, "She knows what she's doing." Chiara had the confidence that I longed to have. She was my best friend. We did things that I would never have done alone. We climbed trees, stood on each others shoulders, snuck into the restricted parts of the school. We faked illnesses to get out of class, jumped the school fence on sports day. We had more inside jokes than both the hairs on our heads combined.  Some might say she was a bad influence, but she was my bad influence. My best friend.

One day I remember asking her, "Did I make you like this?"

"Like what?" She was whispering, we were cowering the school bathroom, hiding from the teachers. The smell of perfume thick in the air.

"Like this. Crazy," I whispered back, squatting on the toilet so that my feet wouldn't be seen.

She laughed, a giggle that quickly turned into a loud and boisterous laugh, "No, I've always been this way."

We laughed for too long.

The summer before seventh grade, everything changed again. Four years had passed, I was twelve. Our contract had expired, which meant that my school was no longer paid for by my dad's work. It also meant that we had to move back.

I was devastated. Leaving Germany was something that I knew would happen eventually, but I had denied that it would ever happen... until it did. I said my goodbyes and we flew across the ocean again, back to our town in South Carolina.

I was unhappy. At my lowest. When school started, I became even unhappier. Most of the kids at my school had lived in the town their entire life. Some hadn't been out of the state. To me, it was like they lived in their own world. Their own little bubble where everything was great and everyone had iphones and access to the internet. These kids, they weren't like me.

Most of my year was spent writing. I created worlds in my head, worlds with characters. Those characters were my friends. They helped me get through the year. Helped me gather confidence. To me those "characters" were friends.

I had no real friends. Until the middle of the year. Sure enough, I was writing. Deep in thought, trying to figure out the difference between a motel and a hotel, very exhausting work. Then, this girl- who I had never seen before asked, "Are you writing?"

No one really ever talked to me so I was surprised, thought she was joking for a minute.

"Yes, I am."

"Cool. I like to write too," then she sat down next to me, slammed her laptop down on the table, and began to write.

I had made a friend. Just like that. She saw we had something in common, and talked to me.

You think that it's over? That I made a friend so now I live happily ever after. Well... you'd be wrong.

Making a friend- easy. Staying friends- much harder.

After a while, I began to notice things. I was pushing all of my new friends away. Why? I often lied to myself, told myself I didn't know why I was pushing them away. I did. I was afraid that by making new friends, I was betraying my old ones. Pushing them away was my way of making that better.

I was afraid to build up a relationship, for fear that it would be ripped apart, torn at the seams. Anytime I decided that I was getting too close, I would distance myself. Put myself on an island where no one, but the characters I created, could reach me. I never accepted the fact that the reason I was pushing everyone away wasn’t because of the move. It was because of me. I had created unrealistic boundaries. I had built up walls around myself, around my own little island, and pushed away anyone who got too close. I wasn’t betraying my old friends. I was only betraying myself.

Writing this, I don't think that I ever really accepted that the reason I didn't have many friends... was only because of myself, and not anything else. I accept it now. Writing this has helped me accept it, has helped me move on. And you know what? I'm ready to rock eighth grade.

Who am I- you ask? I am no one and also someone. I am a writer, and always will be.

Maybe writing helped me make a friend, but it's my job to keep that friend.


*All names have been changed

Peer Review

I quite enjoyed the very beginning. The first paragraph. The narration and flow were all extremely pleasant and made me think of something I'd read in a book.

I could relate to hiding in your fictional worlds, rather than living in the real world. Reality is harsh and cruel. Not all fictional worlds are cupcakes and hearts, but they're still magical.

I think it managed to be quite balanced. But perhaps in the end, it could've been a scene rather than the narrator kicking into the "typical teen journal entry in a movie" style.

It was kinda sad that the character pretty much never maid friends after Chiara, she did say she met some new kids, but pushed them all away. That was kinda unsatisfying, like the happy ending was lacking almost.

I can honestly see you as the winner. Your writing is better than mine! It's balanced, clean, and easy to enjoy. Your style is captivating, so that the reader just gets sucked in a keep going.

Reviewer Comments

10/10!!! Good luck in HS or 8th grade..? IDK

(Also, I saw like a spelling error in someones talking, or somewhere at least, but I couldn't find it to highlight it for you. Sorry)