February 9th, 2011

Clay's Personal

I am a closeted writer!

By Clayton

Dear, dear diary, I want to tell my secrets
Cuz you’re the only one that I know who’ll keep them
Dear, dear diary, I want to tell my secrets
I know you’ll keep them, and this is what I’ve done

Above are the lines of a lesser-famous song by PINK… and this post is exactly the same topic as the song:  writing in a diary/journal/blog… writing down your thoughts and feelings to either cope, confess, remember or simply relieve yourself. Everyone has his/her own reasons for grabbing a pen (or in my case a laptop) to write down a few words.

Writing is not a hobby I’ve recently picked up. For many years I’ve probably been a closeted writer. Only a few know that I am very fond of writing. This goes way back when I first learned how to spell and write my own name. Writing my name is something my dad had taught me at the age of 5-6. That probably was in my worst handwriting to date, but at least I knew how to write down the five letters that form my name, the ones I’ve written countless times in my 23 years of existence: C-L-A-Y-T-O-N.

It was my second year of kindergarten when the teacher was going to teach us how to write down our names. She wrote down the name of everyone in the classroom on the blackboard, but I had the advantage of already knowing how to do that, so I didn’t need to check. I was very proud of myself at that moment, because I was the only one who was able to do that already.
The first grade of elementary school is where we all were taught to read and write the famous line, which most Surinamese people have first learned: “Een man en een aap”.
(English translation: “A man and a monkey”)
Ask a random few of people who’ve been born and raised here and most will confirm that that’s the first line they’ve been taught.

I began writing on my dad’s old laptop when I was about 7-8. I always admired how the ladies at the traveling agencies used to type at such a rapid speed and I wanted it to be able to do that too. I was determined to teach myself how to type in as many names as possible in as less time as possible. I did this in a Microsoft Excel file and began with typing my full name, that of my mom, dad, brother and cousins. I’m not sure what was so entertaining about that, but I somehow enjoyed myself.
At that time my older brother didn’t live with us anymore, so I was practically an only child, which is why I had to find ways to keep myself entertained. Little did I know, that fast typing is a skill that takes years to develop – a skill I’ve been able to master now, thanks to the many essays I’ve written so far and hours of chatting on MSN 🙂

Okay now over to the real topic of this blog.
My first “story” was published when I was 9 (or maybe I was 8). It was a short fairytale, mostly based on other existing fairytales I’d read, published in the Kids section of our local newspaper. My dad still has that paper somewhere, by the way.
I can’t quite remember the storyline, but I believe it was a mixture of Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Cinderella. With my own twist of course. Not a masterpiece of course, but hat else do you expect from a 9-year-old? However, for my dad this was fantastic of course. His son… the future novelist. (like pshhh… haha) I believe that was the start of it all.