I was in 2nd Grade when I came home crying because someone called me a weirdo in school. My mom suggested that I write about my feelings. I wrote for a long time that evening. I ate my dinner and wrote again. When it was bedtime and mom came to tuck me in, she asked how I felt, and I remember saying that I felt better. Writing about my feelings really helped.
It was the first time I realized I enjoyed writing. In 5th Grade, my class teacher asked us to write a story and he was impressed with what I had written. My parents encouraged me to write more during the summer of 2018. I could sit in one corner on the couch and write for hours together.
I could be the hero fighting aliens from Mars or the brilliant scientist winning the Nobel Prize. I started to enjoy building characters. I felt proud of myself when I saw the words I had typed show up on the computer screen as a powerful story. So, by the end of the 2018 summer, the story that I had started writing in 5th Grade was beginning to take shape. I decided to get it published. I submitted it to a professional editing company in New York who published my first book, “Adventures of Jimmy Hailbuster” in December 2018. That book has sold more than 5,000 copies so far. But more than the numbers, I was pleased to read the reviews of my book on Amazon.
Then I decided to be little braver and write a book in a completely different genre. My second book, “The Grim Reaper in the Alley,” a horror story, was published in December 2019. My second book sold more than 1,200 copies so far. The reviews for my second book are still coming in and I love them.
I am currently writing my third book. It will be published sometime during Thanksgiving this year. My third book is a historical fiction just like my first book and you can say it is a sequel of sorts to my first book.
I have realized that my writing has helped me tremendously in academics and beyond, and not just in publishing books. My favorite subject is science as it holds clues to very important questions about what could happen in the future or what may have happened before we arrived. It makes it easier for me to think and work out the reason. And part of it is because if you write, you are constantly thinking. You are constantly analyzing the facts, sorting them out into a cogent narrative and your imagination must fill in the rest. That is very crucial. What happens when there are more electrons than protons? And little by little, without planning it, you are diving headlong into a different world-that of science.
When you are studying Advanced Algebra and you have to plot a parabola, there are many ways to think about a solution and no hard and fast rule how to do it … what if there is no zero, what if the numbers were different, will the curve be wider? Will it be narrower? And again, you are analyzing.
I write my thoughts on these small pieces of sticky notes and put them all over my desk and the wall. It is a little more work for my parents to clean them up I agree but it helps me not forget anything. I type my Physics and Math problems on my phone notepad too at times.
I feel doing well in academics is more than getting grades. If you ask me, it is about excellence. To understand the concepts and be able to question beyond what is taught in the class and seek answers.
Writing helps you cognitively too, especially if you write your notes by hand. When you go from one sentence to another, there is a new idea, a new thought and that by itself, is commendable. One of the things people often struggle with is mental focus. I am no exception. There are times when I am thinking about a science fair topic or a math problem and then my mind wanders off onto something else. But if I write it down, it helps me greatly to stay on the topic. For me, it is easier to understand the materials, theorems, formula and equations when I write them down.
To me science is a very fascinating subject and it ignites countless imaginations in my mind. I cannot think beyond what is written in the textbooks and what is taught in the class if I do not write. Writing the concepts challenges me and stimulates my imagination.
Last year for my Science Fair competition, I designed a motion detector to stop Alzheimer’s patients from wandering off. It required a lot of perseverance, focus and brain storming sessions. This year, I did three Science Fair projects and they were all related to innovation. I had these small papers and I would write about my ideas and keep them all around my room.
It gives me great joy to see my idea or you can say, my brainchild take shape on paper. The question I ask myself is where do I go next after this sentence or word or phrase? That gives me tremendous motivation. I love these challenges and I thrive on them.
Writing is fun. It is my passion. To me personally, writing and thinking are inter-dependent. And I strongly believe, it can change your world in a good way. It will be right to say that writing makes me excel at everything that I do in school and outside of school. When inspiration comes from the deepest corner of your heart, you know you are unshakeable and unbeatable. There will be nothing in Physics, Math or Science that you cannot solve when you think and write. Happy writing everyone.
Arjun Alva is a 7th grader at Forsythe Middle School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. He lives with his younger brother Anmol and his parents. Arjun has already published two books, “Adventures of Jimmy Hailbuster” and “The Grim Reaper in the Alley,” which are available on Amazon. He is currently writing his third book and he plans to publish it in December 2020.