Essay on The Way Writing Should Be
I use to hate writing.
I remember in kindergarten, the teacher would sit us six-year-olds down at a table with a sheet of paper covered in lines and dashes. Then she would tell us to copy what she wrote on the board, stroke by stroke. When these times came, I would scream, hide, lead the other children around the room, march-style, shouting at the top of our high-pitched voices: “No writing! No writing!” But I was eventually forced to learn to make those scrawling letters. As years went by, writing was used more and more. We were taught to write next, then, after that, and finally; your and you’re, there, their, and they’re.
Then came the writing tests. I will never get over their stupidity. “Write to explain who your role model is and why,” “Write to persuade someone to pick your school to be featured on a news broadcast.” Each action was more forced than the last. Even if you had no interest, nothing to say, nothing to write, you had to think of something, or there would be a big, fat F on the top of your paper. So I ask myself why, why did I start writing? Why did writing become part of my daily life, part of my future? Because I hated it.
It was because I hated sitting down, having forty-five minutes to write about something that you don’t even care exists, with a number two pencil that I hated using. I hated the rigidness of it. So I wrote about something else, just to rub it in the idiotic school board members’ faces. When I got home from the forced learning of the school I was forced to attend, I wrote the random thoughts in my head that made no sense to anyone but me, I wrote meaningless nonsense about the sky and the stars, I wrote stories about a girl with wings. And I learned.
I learned, on my own, that writing is not something to hate. Writing is not rigid. Writing is, in truth, a way of saying what you want to say; it’s a way of creating a picture in your mind, better than any picture printed or painted or on a screen, because everyone experiences it differently. But I learned that away from school, and much later than I should have learned it. School puts writing in a negative light. If you ask today’s middle school students (I say middle school because that’s when you start discovering yourself and having definite opinions, but are still affected by influences around you) whether or not they like writing, the majority will say no, I don’t like it.
Why is this? Because, in school, writing is not freedom. You are always given a prompt, something you have to write about, even in elementary school, I remember, a teacher would say to write about what you did over the weekend or what your favorite food was. Not once has a teacher said to me, “Write whatever you want about whatever you want.” And that’s what taught me to hate writing as a child. Schools are wrong to teach writing as they do. Writing needs to be freer, as easy as picking up a pencil and writing whatever comes to mind.
No “write to explain, write to persuade, write to tell.” Just write.