Discovering I had the write stuff

Do you remember where you were when you discovered who you could be? I do. I was at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Well, at least in my imagination.

My favorite television character, Rory Gilmore, once said, "I live in two worlds: reality and books." I've related to that sentiment my whole life.

As a kid, reading was my favorite activity, my preferred way to pass time. Books spoke to me on levels that no person could. I read in school, in between classes, on car rides and even mornings before school. Whenever I had a free moment, I would read.

And my favorite books? The "Harry Potter" series. Anyone who knew me in middle school knew me with a "Harry Potter" book in hand. It was everything I could ever want in a book: fantasy, adventure, conflict, romance and good vs. evil. Author J.K. Rowling invited me into a world far from my own. It consumed me, and sometimes the lines between the lives of Harry, Ron and Hermione would blur with my own life.

If I had a bad day at school or felt stressed or anxious, it hardly mattered because when I came home, I had Harry. In fact, I had three best friends that I knew as if they were real. This feeling of comfort, excitement and pure joy at just holding these books in my hands is where it all began.

As I got older, I began to have the desire to write something of my own, to create a masterpiece that someone just like me could read and love as much as I loved "Harry Potter." That's when I began to write. I wrote poems, short stories, plays, and even began my very own book. It was something that came so naturally to me.

Although I loved to write, it wasn't until others began to read my writing that I knew it was something I wanted to pursue as a career. I reveled in the praise I received when my parents told me I was a natural-born writer, was proudest when my teachers complimented me on my essays and got excited every time I had the opportunity to put my opinions into words.

This excitement turned into a passion - a passion to be a journalist. I wanted people to know what was on my mind. I wanted to start conversations. I wanted to make people think. And I still do.

I am part of a generation that has lost the ability to communicate effectively, a generation that is afraid to have difficult conversations, a generation that has lost direction and is dismissive of what's right and what's wrong.

I want to write what is hard, the things that people don't necessarily want to read, but need to read, for the sake of themselves, my generation, and the future.

Stay tuned.

- Katie Hughes of Hinsdale, a senior at Nazareth Academy, is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].