Jonathan Cheng – The Voice of Irvington

My name is Jonathan Cheng and I am in 12th grade.

When I was in middle school, I loved to read books, especially young adult novels. And so, as I read more books, I became more and more curious about how other people grew up. So I tried to write my own short stories, and that led me to more creative writing in high school.

My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Snow, really inspired me not only to love reading, but also to love writing. I would say that thanks to her, I acquired a lot of interest in creative writing. In high school, I would say that my English teacher, Mrs. O’Connor, also encouraged me to write creatively. We had a writing assignment called a descriptive essay, where we had to write an extended metaphor, and I think that was a really good exercise in creative writing. I submitted some work for the creative writing club, like their literary magazine Penchant. I also last year I did this online micro-fiction contest called Flash Fiction Friday, and I even won a few times. But some of these prompts for the contest, where they ask you to write a story based on a word, are really weird. So I really had to think outside the box to relate them to the word which was organ. Many people thought of the instrument, but I chose to think of it literally as a human organ.

I think when it comes to writing a story, the characters are probably the most important part of your story, because you want your readers to tell or learn something from your characters. I think that if the plot is something that readers can forget after a while, they will always remember certain impressions of the characters.

I think writing is cool because you learn to express yourself. When you write, you are the author, so you can paint your own universe; you get to create all the rules. You have a lot of flexibility in what you can write. When I have writer’s block, I distract myself from the task for a few minutes and take a short break. I sometimes have random moments of inspiration when I’m listening to music or reading another book. Writing is really a time consuming process. Sometimes you are not able to get the words and sentences out. And so you end up staring at a blank document for a long time. It’s also very easy to like to write something, then immediately think it’s terrible and delete everything and start again.