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Imagine That

Young author’s creativity spills onto page

I think it’s funny that two years ago, when I was in fourth grade, I loved to write nothing but poems. When my fourth grade teacher Mr. Hill would want the class to write a short story, I tried to turn in my poems anyway because I just simply couldn’t write anything besides poetry. Mr. Hill unconditionally encouraged me to try writing some short stories, and even then, I hadn’t written any until the summer before going into fifth grade. One year later, I have written my debut novel The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter. And I know the secret behind it.

Okay, here’s the truth. It’s not exactly a secret and it goes for everything, not just aspiring young authors. Here’s my motto: as long as you work hard to achieve your goal and put your heart into it, you will succeed at whatever you choose. My motto is the secret. If you really want to achieve something, don’t just say it and leave it behind in your computer somewhere or in an abandoned notepad.

Here’s another thing I’ve got to say about my motto. Sometimes it’s really hard to write and it feels like you really want to do it but you can’t. Maybe you think that celebrities, movie stars, famous writers and singers never have a time when they can’t come up with an idea, but everyone does. So have confidence in yourself. Maybe the confidence will fail you, but if you have the drive to keep going, you’ll do just fine. Along the way, maybe you’ll become a writer, young entrepreneur, singer, actor or designer.

I’m sure you’ve all probably guessed that I love to read. Maybe some of you like to read, too, or you sort of like it but can’t find time to read. Well, I believe that reading stimulates the creative juices and helps you to come up with even greater ideas. Maybe you want to be a movie director and you read a scene in a book that jogs your imagination. Or maybe you want to be a fashion designer and read about this amazing dress in a book that makes you want to come up with one just as beautiful and flowing. Or you could just be reading for fun and all of a sudden you are staring at a used-to-be-blank-sheet-of-paper that is now a detailed, fully fledged drawing. You never know what great things can happen to you until you read. So why don’t you give it a try? There’s always a new talent inside your brain, ready to escape and come out.

“All of the books are boring,” you complain. Maybe they aren’t the type of genre that you like. If you like reading about ghosts, vampires and werewolves, try reading paranormal fiction. Or if you like reading about things like cloning in action books, try reading science-fiction. You might even like reading about sports. So try reading books by Mike Lupica. Maybe you like reading about books that have people with fans, parasols, tea parties and the like, then historical fiction is definitely in your league. So give reading a try and you just might end up loving it.

Between homework, extracurricular activities and hanging out with friends, where do you squeeze the reading in? Why not organize a study session with your friends and do homework together in the library? That way you can talk to your friends, research homework or essays and find a great new book to read. Or if it’s too much hassle to get dropped off at your local library, try going to the library every weekend and spend 30 minutes there, reading or looking for great books to read.

What does it take to be an author? To me, all it takes is perseverance and determination. Just let your natural abilities take time to develop. You can’t force yourself or plan out the times that you’re going to write. You just do. Once I sat in my bedroom at dinnertime and wrote seven whole pages. Seven! That number was like a blue diamond that day, rare and wonderful. Writing is so amazing because you get to create your own adventure. It’s like seeing your imagination come alive.

If you try your hardest to fulfill your dream, there’s definitely nothing that can stop you. That’s exactly the route that I took, and I published my novel at the age of 10. I hope that this summer will be one unlike any other, the summer where you’ll reach forward or try something new, like reading or writing, which will become the summer that you’ll remember for eternity.

Bethany Huang is the author of The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter: The Truth Behind the Lies. Now 11, she lives with her parents and brother in New York and loves reading and writing. Her book is available at and major retailers.

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