Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#sol16 It Started With a Piece of Writing

He looks up from his writer's notebook.

"This is hard."

Wait! What?

"This is hard. I can't stop writing."

J is taking Creative Writing independently because he couldn't fit the regular class into his schedule. It is the lesser of two evils. He hates writing less than he hates reading.

"I just don't know where to stop."

"What are you writing?"

He proceeds to talk about a decision he was working his way through--whether to go to college or join the Marines.  He wants to be a professional pilot. It's been his dream forever and he recently got his pilot's license.  He has lots of reasons to do either one.

The decision isn't important---well, it is. BUT

He was using his writing to help sort out his thoughts. Thoughts he hadn't even expressed to his parents  yet.

And then we started talking. He'd explain. I'd question.

I'd explain and he'd question.

I asked him if it helped, this conversation. It did, but it also gave him much more to think about.

Writer's notebook forgotten.

But it's OK. Because sometimes, conversations are more important than curriculum.

Postscript:  J is using this conversation and the draft in his notebook as the basis of his first piece of writing. He still hasn't talked to his parents but is closer to making the decision. I can't wait to read about it.


  1. This encounter had to make your heart happy. It is hard, making decisions that might affect the rest of your life.

  2. Aren't you glad that you were there at the right moment, and asked questions that evidently sparked him to think about? I agree, the talk was more important. Isn't that what we do in our heads sometimes, before we write?