Our Nearly 11-Year-Old Correspondent Says Goodbye–for Now!
By Sienna Beck / New York City
Wow! Three miraculous years have gone by since I wrote my first article. Three years’ worth of support from you guys. I am extremely grateful to all you have done: your wonderful comments, your reading my columns, and so much more. I am sad to close down, but Covid-19 is endemic now, and now it is time to move on.
Writing my columns has been a relief for me. Finding the content is difficult, but fitting it together and finding which pieces snap has always been fun. And seeing how much you read my columns, I feel even better.
Starting from when I was 8, when I wrote about our ski trip in Camelback, I then wrote 18 more columns, ranging from orthodontist visits to our new friends who immigrated from South America, to the Museum of Failure. And without The Insider and all your support, my career as a writer might have become a failure without my monthly columns. I will miss that satisfaction when my articles are published.
This last column is about how I’ve changed as a writer. At 8 years old, my grammar was awful. (I always used the weirdest words, some that didn’t even exist.) Sometimes I miss being 8, because I had a wild imagination and never did writer’s block ☹ strike me. As a 10¾ year-old, I often can’t begin a story without a starter from the Internet or some sort of inspiration. The first article I published inspired me to launch my career.
At 9, my grammar got a little bit better, because I never made up words and my stories started to make sense. I began to write longer columns with weaved-in logic. The writer’s block seldom came, but when it came, it was easier to cure.
At 9 and a half, I became a spelling whiz, and it still pains me deeply when people misspell words. Actually, in the middle of fifth grade, I went over the work of a kid in my class and changed each word, either spelling, spacing or punctuation. I am a naturally fast typist, so I finished that very fast. (It was an ecosystem unit, and I was fixing a rainforest piece.)
At 10 years old, I started reflecting on certain trips and recommending places to visit like the MOX (Museum of Failure) and started incorporating comedy into my stories.
Now I am almost 11 years old and have gone on to submit my stories to contests, write plays, and feel more confident in myself. I would like to thank a couple of people personally.
My great-aunt Andi, the editor-in-chief and publisher of The Insider, thank you so much for letting me write in your website. It has been so fun writing for you.
Naomi Serviss, thank you for sending me emails and letters and for boosting my creativity. Whenever I needed inspiration for an article, you responded to my emails within an hour.
My mom, for letting me go on my computer when I wanted to begin an article. Thank you so much for reminding me when to do so, as well. ☺
Writopia Lab, thank you for giving me my tools, inspiration, boosts, confidence, and so much more for four whole years. (I was 7 when I started.)
And last but not least, for the millionth time (but never less important), my readers. Thank you for reading all my articles, even my extremely boring ones. (Honestly, never are any of my articles boring, but I’m the author, so what do I know?)
I hope that Andi will maybe start an Outsider website so everyone can continue reading and writing (my two favorite subjects!) But if not, good luck with your Ph.D., Andi, and I really hope to stay in touch with everybody!!!!
I will never, ever forget The Insider. It is an unforgettable–more than a website–writing home.
Skating Past the Pandemic!
By Willa Beck / New York City
Wow, things for me have changed!!! If you always read The Insider, you might remember my first article, about my first online piano recital. Our extended family had to watch it on Zoom, while my sisters and I were playing at our own house, because we could not all be together. Now, in the past year, not only have I had piano recitals in-person, but I have had in-person recitals playing viola and singing, both of which I started learning during the pandemic. I also performed piano at my school’s talent show, in front of hundreds of people gathered in the auditorium.
You also might remember when I wrote about learning how to roller-skate in a hallway. Now, I’m biking, roller-blading and even ice skating outside. Writing in The Insider was one of the first times I had written for other people, and it was fun to share experiences. Since those articles, I have started writing much more. My favorite type of writing is writing the dialogue in plays. (That’s another thing I’ve been able to do since the pandemic ended: I’ve gone to a lot of Broadway shows!)
When I think of the pandemic, I think of many fun times that I had, including writing for The Insider, but I am also glad the Covid years are over and I’m looking forward to new opportunities!
How I Feel About the Pandemic Being Over
By Olive Beck / New York City (as told to her mother)
After long years of people being sick, finally, Covid-19 has come to a stopping point. I was very lucky because I did not get Covid. My sister, Sienna, also didn’t. But everyone else in my family did, even though we were very careful. When we went on trips in airplanes, we usually wore double masks. But we just went on our trip to Egypt with no masks. Now I get to get to school with no mask, too! I’m very happy about that.
When my Great-Aunt started The Insider, I was 3½, and I couldn’t write, so I didn’t get to contribute articles. Then I started to write an article about losing my first tooth, but the draft is still in Notes on my IPad, and I never got to publish it. So my first article is going to be my last! I hope to publish other articles in the future, and I hope that you, readers, will see them! Farewell!
Already seasoned travelers, Sienna, Willa and Olive visited Cairo, Thessaloniki, Istanbul and AlUla in July with their parents and grandparents