Well how this piece came about was a bit of a random event for me. While doing many academic writing pieces this year I was often told in feedback that my writing style was very distanced from the actual events; that it wasn't me myself being the voice of the story, but instead it came across as someone who was telling a story as bystander on the edge, not really capturing any emotion and a proper voice for the reader to connect to.
After a major writing assessment piece that I worked on a lot was absolutely slammed by my tutor, Michelle, I began to question whether I myself actually wanted to be a writer. Having a hit a creative brick wall, I re-read her feedback over and over, and then I decided to message her, and was brutally honest by saying that I had absolutely no idea where to go next with my writing.
Michelle set me a challenge: That basically, what makes a writing piece great is that you cannot be distant from the action. The characters are YOU! The story must be told in a way that is not hearsay, but is your OWN personal experience. That is what makes the writing experience so personal. That is what makes it authentic.
This is some of what she said: "A lot of learning to write is about failing, Nick. I can tell you that from experience. You begin to get a feel for what doesn't work, for what shouldn't ever end up on the page. Writing requires you not just to write with intensity, but to live with intensity: really learning to understand the people in your life, the people you see in your local shop. Be interested in them, what makes them tick, how they see the world. This is a good life lesson, as well as a lesson in writing."
"Kiss" itself came about sometime after this. Wthing the same writing unit, I had to engage in a small creative writing exercise called 'microplotting', essentially mapping out vast moments in a very short period. When your mind is going at a million miles an hour before that first kiss, it seemed like a no-brainer to talk about it.
Having had time to mull over what Michelle had said; I decided to write a piece of my own memory; of something that I experienced myself. So yes, "Kiss" is actually my own experience of my first ever kiss. Yeah I'm a soppy bastard... I own the problem.
I worked on this 350 word piece for close to four days, and when I finally submitted it, it was a real moment of truth, despite it academically counting for so little. I had written this piece very differently from any other piece I had written before it, and I wasn't sure how it would go.
When I finally got "Kiss" back and ended up with a D+ (and a full 20+ mark jump from my previous assessment that had been slammed), I couldn't believe it. So yes, "Kiss" may be very short, and its not exactly the most 'manly' subject matter, but I'm unbelievably proud of it. It showed me, that I really do have more potential as a writer, and that, with time and experience and adapting from failure, you do get better as a writer.