“The beautiful art it truly is”

Becoming a Brave WriterBecoming a Brave Writer
by Hannah Hayes

I remember my life in vivid blurbs of sensory details. The feelings of dark, light, hot, and cool are strong aspects of my memory. I can still feel the hot fire in the fireplace and the trapped feeling of my body pressed between my warm sweater and searing chest as I sat at the kitchen table staring down at the sheet of paper I needed to fill with the stuffy requirement of a five paragraph essay. Before switching to Brave Writer, we used a different writing program. Every Friday, in this curriculum, we were to write essays, but soon Friday became my least favorite day. I grasped the edges of the cool metal table and rubbed my sweaty palms on my jeans. Glancing at the clock, I hoped my dad would come home soon so we could eat dinner and I would be spared from banging my head against the table. I knew that with the ticking clock came an ending of one sort or the other, and I was hoping for rescue.

After suffering through many Fridays with this program, my mom finally found an alternative—Brave Writer! At first I was skeptical and dug in my heels. “I don’t like the idea of other people reading my work,” I moaned. But, once again, my mother was determined, and soon I was watching her post my work on a private online classroom. To my delightful surprise, it wasn’t scary! Instead I was writing about things that interested me, and was even praised by the teacher for what I wrote. “Wow,” I thought, “this is actually fun!”

The first complete paper I wrote was about my daydreams becoming realities. It was so much fun to write, because I could dream on paper, and then hold those dreams in my hand. Even my dad, who sort of brushed writing off as being an irrelevant skill, was impressed. “This is great!” he told me. I beamed.

I credit that first paper as being the turn-around to my writing education. After that, I wanted to take as many Brave Writer classes as I could manage. I loved the freedom I had—to imagine, to share my thoughts, and to have encouraging teachers who inspired me to do my best. My favorite classes were the literary analysis courses. I enjoyed them so much that they didn’t even seem like school work. Delving into timeless novels and uncovering the mysteries the authors left for their readers was a wonderful game to me. I would pour hours into writing the weekly posts, so much so that my mom would jokingly tell me to “just wrap it up.”

Brave Writer has motivated me to express myself well through words, and to love written words like individual people—two qualities I will forever be grateful for. Now when I think about writing, I think of cool breezes blowing through the lace curtains in my room, and sunlight dappling shadows of leafy trees upon the cement. Thank you for making writing come alive, and for exposing me to the beautiful art it truly is.

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