High School Student from Co-op

I asked permission to share this piece of writing. It was done in class (no time to polish or edit). Dorothy explained how her writing has grown this year and I thought she expressed it so well, I asked if I could share it with you. She said, “Yes.”

When I was in 9th grade comp class last year, I thought that I was pretty good at writing. I was getting all A’s. But I found it a little easy. I would do most of my assignments the night before, without any work put into it. It was easier, because all I really had to do was follow the correct way of writing, watch my grammar, and follow orders. The content didn’t matter. One such time was the final assignment of the year. We all had one month to write a short story. I put it off, and put it off until the last week. Then I started cramming. I just did spell check on it, read it out loud a number of times and turned it in. Guess what? I got an “A.” I was so excited. “I’m a writer!” I told my friends. Yet after only one month in Mrs. Bogart’s class, I read through it again. In big, bold, red ink, “A” jumped from the page, but as I began to read through it, the ink faded. Its grammar, form and spelling were impeccable, but I couldn’t stand it.

And it wasn’t just like “Oh my work always stinks” kind of talk, but it really was terrible. My wording and musical language were non-existent. Literary elements? I’d pay you if you could find them! I had learned to follow the rules—and that’s okay sometimes, but writing is so boring when that’s all you do. My writing had no substance, no character and no point. I was able to please my teacher, but no one else. The papers I am writing now are much harder. It is easy to follow exact rules, but when all those rules are set aside for awhile, and all you can go by is what you feel you should write—whole different song to sing, because just following the guidelines is not good enough any more. You really have to work at it, and put everything into it… sometimes your very soul.

My writing began to change with the “Telling the True Truth” assignment. It was about dating versus not dating and at first I approached it just as I did with previous assignments. But in the middle, something seemed to “pop” within me and I just started writing from my heart. I found things about myself that surprised me and even jolted me to tears! From then on, I have begun to write as if my paper was the one that changed the universe. Now, I write how I want to, and use form, grammar and rules to my advantage.

Dorothy (16)

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