Insight and Inspiration from Student Writers

Students writing storiesI have the opportunity to facilitate the lunchtime Creative Writing Club at the elementary school where I teach. Student creative writers give up their recess and lunchtime with classmates to come and be part of our writing community. These students are motivated, bright and eager. They are students who recognized writing as a way to express themselves. They love to write and thrive in this situation that encourages and supports their efforts to use writing to tell a story they need to tell.

I have gained insight and inspiration into my own writing by working alongside these young artists as they hone their skills and grow into the writers of the future.

• Writers write. They write a lot. No one can be a writer without filling up a lot of pages and spending time and energy writing.

• Sometimes the deepest and most brilliant ideas are found in incomplete sentences and misspelled words that speak to the essence of the story.

• You have to tie everything together. A story that is all middle isn’t much of a story. You must have a beginning and an end.

• Imagination is the best guide. Although some accuracy is important, don’t let the facts get in the way and obscure your story.

• Use adjectives and action verbs. Don’t use adverbs. Use the very best words you know and don’t ever worry about spelling- you can figure how to spell words later.

• Sometimes you have to slog through a lot of boring stuff to get to the great stuff.

• Some stories don’t need to be taken to completion. They just don’t turn out to be interesting or meaningful. So, let them go and put energy into something that you want to finish.

• Writers really, really hate to revise, but they have to do it anyway.

• Try to find new ways to say something. A lot of people have the same ideas… but it matters that you say the idea in your own way.

• Play with emotion- make others cry or laugh or gasp. You know it’s good if your teacher gets the shivers.

• Writers have to share their work. Creative writing is meant to be shared.

• If people don’t understand something that you have written, you need to listen to them. They want to help you make your work stronger and work for everyone, not just you.

• The best writers are the best readers. Reading is the springboard for writing.

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