Home / View Point / Write Start (11-15): Can Gabriella Mohammed make it as a writer? Lisa Allen-Agostini offers some advice

Write Start (11-15): Can Gabriella Mohammed make it as a writer? Lisa Allen-Agostini offers some advice

“[…] My whole dream was to be a writer and my parents—well, more specifically my dad—always crushed it. My dad wanted me to become a doctor, something ‘useful’. 

“However I wanted to be a writer. The feeling I felt as I brought a tree or a meadow to life. I loved transporting people to different places as they read. To me writing was a way to pour out my feelings without actually saying them…”

Fourteen-year-old San Fernando Central Secondary form three student Gabriella Mohammed is our ninth shortlisted fictional writer for the inaugural Wired868 Write Start competition. Her essay is in the 11-15 category entitled ‘The day I met my local hero’:

Photo: Author and poet Lisa Allen-Agostini.
(Copyright True Talk No Lie)

As the bell rang dismissing us from school I rushed home, excited to tell my mom how high I scored in my essay. I was practically bursting with news. I loved writing and the fact I had scored so high meant a lot to me. When I arrived home I ran towards my mom who was in the kitchen, my dad was also there reading. 

“Mom! Dad! Look how much I got in my essay!”

I don’t how I expected a good reaction from them. My dad scoffed and said, “Writing is useless in this world. Couldn’t you have gotten high in something else Luna.” 

My mom looked at me with a pitiful expression but of course she said nothing against dad. I just sighed and went up to my room. I collapsed on my bed refusing to let any tears fall out. My whole dream was to be a writer and my parents—well, more specifically my dad—always crushed it. My dad wanted me to become a doctor, something ‘useful’. 

However I wanted to be a writer. The feeling I felt as I brought a tree or a meadow to life. I loved transporting people to different places as they read. To me writing was a way to pour out my feelings without actually saying them. However my parents didn’t understand that and always put me down. 

Image: I love to use my imagination…

I just sighed and curled up to read my favourite book ‘Home, Home’ by Lisa Allen-Agostini. Lisa was my favourite author and her books were amazing. I loved how she also supported other young writers. I wished to meet her someday but I guess that was impossible. Even thought she lived right in the same country as me, my dad would never allow my dream of being a writer to go any further. 

I was engrossed in my book but frowned when I heard yelling coming from downstairs. I snuck down the stairs and greeted the same scene. My mom and dad fighting as usual. I didn’t want to hear this for the rest of the afternoon. I grabbed my hoodie and went outside for a walk. 

I hummed a tune as I took in mature at its fullest. The wind seemed to be going along with my humming and the trees danced along as well. I smiled as I noticed some of the little kids in my street playing. They waved to me and I did the same. 

“Hey Luna! You here to tell us another story?!” A kid asked. 

I chuckled as they seemed so anxious to hear something. However I couldn’t stay out very long or my dad would flip. So sadly I refused but promised them I would tell them one another time. I smiled as they jumped in joy. 

Photo: The joy of reading…

Suddenly ahead of me I saw a lady who was carrying some things in a bag. The bag ripped and her stuff fell out. I ran over to help her. 

“Thank you little girl.” 

I looked up and almost fainted when I saw the person. It was Lisa Allen- Agostini! How was she down by my area? I tried to speak but I couldn’t muster the words. The only thing that came out of my mouth was,

“Oh my gosh you’re THE Lisa Allen-Agostini!”

I heard her chuckle. 

“Why yes, you’ve heard of me?”

“Are you kidding?! I love your books and the way you support and give prizes to help young writers. You’re like my hero.”

Photo: Hereeeee’s Lisa!
(Copyright Wayne Lee Sing)

“Aw how sweet, and what is your name?” 

“My name is Luna.” 

“Well Luna, pleased to meet you. Tell me do you want to become a writer one day?”

I nodded. 

“Oh yes I do. However my parents won’t let me. They, well mostly my dad, think writing is useless.”  

She smiled at me.

“My parents thought the same thing. You mustn’t let anyone tell you what you should and should not be. Your parents are saying this because maybe they don’t understand the thrill you feel being writer and they just want the best for you.

Photo: Author, journalist and poet Lisa Allen-Agostini graces the stage.
(Copyright True Talk No Lie)

“When I was young I did my studies just as my parents asked but I became a writer because to me that was my dream. So remember little Luna, don’t give up on your dreams. Hold on to that dream and trust me it will come true.” 

Her words meant a lot to me and created a new version to how I saw things. 

“Thank you for this advice Mrs Lisa.”

“No problem little one. Now run along home, it’s getting late.”

As I lay in my bed that night her words remained in my mind. It reminded me to not give up. No matter what I will achieve my dream. One day.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 will announce the winners of the inaugural Write Start competition on 13 December 2021. The first place winner will get TT$6,000, a six-month mobile plan from bmobile, and two complimentary movie tickets to CinemaONE.

Click HERE for more information on the Wired868 Write Start prize structure and do share your favourite essays!

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