Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inspiration from a Fifteen-Year-Old

Some of you may not realize that I publish a writing newsletter entitled WritingKid for kids in elementary school through college. I wanted them to realize their voices could be heard as well. I wanted them to practice submitting, building confidence before they had to compete in the real writing world that we all know isn't always so kind.

A creative writing teacher at Broome High School decided to make WritingKid a class project. The best pieces of the semester are submitted for me to review and accept or reject, just like the real world. Some of these kids are writing creatively for the first time in their lives.

When Cassidy's essay appeared in my email, I read over it once, noticing some novice errors, but then the message caught me. I reread it, amazed at the simple wisdom. She captured a purpose for writing I'd never fathomed. Learning to write helped her appreciate those around her. The message feels so important, I asked her to allow me to share it here on my blog as well as in an edition of WritingKid. I think you'll find her words important, too.


By Cassidy Gillette

It used to be I thought my writing would never be good. I would only write good things when I was angry, sad, or when something brilliant happened. I never had the gift some people have to just write about anything. My mom knew I was a bad writer, so she signed me up for a Creative Writing class so I would get better. I honestly didn't think the class would do anything to help me. In fact, I only took that class to fill my schedule.

At first, I was very shy, quiet, and kept to myself. I hated speaking out loud to people I didn't really know. I soon realized I wasn't the only one in that class that absolutely sucked at writing. Once became familiar with
others, I started making friends. Once we began to trust each other, we cared more about our writing.

I've learned many things. Vocabulary and public speaking will definitely help me in college. I've also learned to write essays and poems and have even been published in an online magazine! Not only has this class taught me how to write, but it has taught me about people. It really changed my mind about judging. Like looking at an iceberg, I could only see what’s on the outside of the water, not what’s underneath. That’s what I was doing-- judging my classmates by what’s on the outside, and not the inside. Their words were so strong and emotional that it changed my mind completely about them.

I once thought writing was boring. Now I see it can be fun and interesting. It's my own way of expressing my feelings, releasing my anger, and standing up for things I couldn't say out loud. Writing can be for anyone, not just for people who are good at it.

Cassidy Gillette is fifteen years old and a sophomore at Broome High School. She plans to attend college right after graduation to become a dermatologist. One day she will open up her own salon that includes a skin care line, nails, and hair. She also wants to publish at least one book.


widdershins said...

What an extraordinary young woman... I hope she grows into an accomplished adult and never loses this wonderful insight.

Barb Hodges said...

She is a girl after my own heart. I love to see young people have a love for writing. I wish her all the blessings.

traceymc said...

As a writer AND high school English teacher, I can appreciate how effective this teacher really is. Getting kids to understand writing at this level is quite an accomplishment. What a great teacher!