Saturday, June 25, 2016

Creative Writers Surviving High School English

      I'm jumping back in time a few years here and thinking back to my years of secondary education english classes. As a reader and very non-technical thinker, English was always my favorite subject. There's no question about that. If I could just get to English class, I could make it through the day. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. You guys are out there.
      But it was also extremely frustrating to me that my only options for English classes were the general 1, 2, 3, and 4--which was language and literary criticism. I enjoyed most of it, but what about creative writing? What about modern literature?
      Schools today are so highly focused in math and science that the humanities are really suffering. They teach to the test. Sometimes, we didn't even discuss what we read. We would just take a quiz over it and move on. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can whip out an academic paper like nobody's business. My English teachers did a wonderful job of preparing me for the frequency of papers necessary at college. And my grammar skills are stellar. (Blog posts are more casual, so don't judge me off of this haha. I know not to start a sentence with a conjunction).
       My only other options for english electives were Newspaper, which only came out maybe once a semester in a good year and Yearbook, which I didn't really consider my type of English. Thinking back, I definitely should've started a creative writing club in high school. But oh well, I've started one at UTC, and that's what counts. We're called Chattanooga Writer's Society, and we're awesome!
       I guess that's what I'm here to tell you. Yes, you have to focus on your main curriculum, and while it may not be your cup of tea, there are other ways to get your creative writing fill. If you think  a teacher might be interested, ask him/her to read some of your more creative work on the side. Start a creative writing club in your high school. Have any questions? Want some help? I'm available to give some advice. Find a writing community in your town, or even an online writing community. There's plenty of them, I promise.
       What's most important, just write. I know school's hectic, and you have a billion and one papers to write, but even if it's just a journal entry at the end of the day, or a silly blog post like this, just get your words out of your head. It's a really good feeling, I promise!
      And here's a little bit of hope for you--there are SO MANY awesome english classes in college. And I'm just starting to scratch the surface. So there's some incentive for you!

Keep writing,

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