Feb 04, 2019

Middletown Author Inspires Community

By Lori Draz and Sarah Curtis

Sarah Curtis Middletown Author Silent Silhouettes

Welcome to Teen Scene. Each month our young authors write, in their own voice, stories that will educate and inform fellow students and parents. If you are a teen who would like to write your story, contact The Journal. We’ll help you polish it up, so don’t worry, let’s just get to sharing.

This month’s author is Sarah Curtis, a 17-year-old senior from Middletown High School North. We met Sarah in the December issue of The Journal when we showcased this young author’s two books, “The Silent Silhouettes” and the sequel “A Second Silence.” As any writer knows, the blank page is an exciting canvas and an equally terrifying, uncharted puzzle that only the author can complete. Sarah thanks her family and her many supporters, but shares who and what is her key for accomplishing your dreams, and her advice on filling your blank page. Here is Sarah’s story:

Inspiration is the flint that sparks your creative fire. For me, my flint was made of my family, determination and a goal I’ll mention later.

Back in the eighth grade, I was assigned a project to write a story based on my own myth or legend. I wrote a seven-page paper about these monsters named the Silent Silhouettes and a boy, Alex, who moves into a house haunted by the ghosts. He discovers that a girl, Amelia, has been stuck in the Silent Silhouettes’ ghost world for more than 100 years, and he has to work to save her.

That’s where that story ended, but I realized it had the potential to become so much more. The flint of my creative fire was sparked, and so, at age 14, I began to write what would become my first novel. I chased my dreams throughout high school and now have two published books with the third in the works.

Throughout the journey, I’ve learned so much about dreams and inspiration. While dreams are thinkable and achievable, they vanish easily. I learned how to turn them into reality. At book signings, people often comment, “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never got to it. What made you finish your book?” It’s inspiration. The same thing that got it started. We all have inspiration inside, but sustaining it can be tough but not impossible. If I did it, then so can you.

While there’s no real data, I bet the number of abandoned and incomplete dreams is substantial. Dreams are so easy to create, but much more difficult to achieve.

In my literary endeavors, I ran into some criminals that should have been arrested a long time ago. They’re called excuses, and they lurk everywhere and in every mind. Excuses are the No. 1 killer of dreams.

Think about it. I planned on going to the gym every day, but planning is not doing. I was worn out by the time I got home from school. The mountain of homework made the desire grow smaller and smaller. “I’m too tired. I have too much homework. I’ll go tomorrow.” The criminals, the excuses, had won.

I learned that “excuse” cannot be spelled without “u.” Though cheesy, it’s true! When we make excuses, we are single-handedly destroying our goals, but the good news is we can choose to not make those excuses. Every day, my sister and I go to the gym, and the days we can’t make it we do an at-home workout.

At the same time, I am writing my third book, a book of poetry. School and work are also still in the picture. There’s not much free time, but that is the cost of pursing a dream. I’d rather have a busy schedule than excuses.

My high school schedule was consumed by honors and advanced placement classes, and their subsequent homework, along with extracurriculars, multiple honor societies, work, friendships and life, but I still put in the time to write, edit, design, revise and publish two books and start the third.

It was a lot at times, but dreams are not cheap. That’s one reason why they are fun to achieve. Seeing all your hard work pay off is always exciting, but seeing you can do what you set your mind to is the most rewarding.

Remember that dreams are yours. Only you, for the most part, can make them come true and only you, for the most part, can stop them. Don’t worry whether others care about them. Chase your dreams because you want to. Don’t chase them for anyone else. Don’t stop if you find no one else seems to be rooting for you. I will be rooting for you.

Remember that goal I said I’d mention? What really inspired me to write my book was the thought of inspiring others. To achieve your dreams, you not only need inspiration, you need motivation. You are the only supporter you need. I hope I can motivate you to be inspired, and stay inspired. My Instagram bio reads, “Get inspired, be inspired, and inspire others.”

I knew what inspiration was and how to get inspired, but I still needed to figure out how to stay inspired. The answer was me. We hold the keys that unlock the door to our imagination, inspiration and determination.

Of course, the support of others is reassuring, but it is not required to achieve your dreams. The last part of my quote is to inspire others, and I hope I have inspired you. If I have, take this inspiration and pursue your dreams.

Even if it seems like a lot, I know you can do it, and I hope you know that too. Always chase your dreams — they are never too far away and you are the only one who can catch them. Best of luck chasing your dreams!