My story of writing begins sweetly at a young age, where I was encouraged to develop my ABC’s. But if we’re being honest, it really took off when I was an angry, lonely, hopeful pre-teen. Ah, yes, you remember the term well, those horrid middle-school years. Those are the years that my writing began to flourish, and not in quality, mind you, in quantity. But hey, as most writers claim, the first step advancement is to write and write often; and that, I did. I wrote about my anger. I wrote about my desperation and longing for something more. And then I wrote of love, of a certain fellow that I’m still writing about.
High school years were a little kinder, but the true “POET” in me, as I claimed, continued writing. My anguish and loneliness wavered, but my love for the boy did not. Both allowed me to write without end. Academically, I was often known as an over-achiever, particularly in my English classes. One teacher even told the class, “Don’t write an Amanda Kriegl length essay this time. I only want 3 pages.” See? There’s that quantity again. 😛
In college, my writing was stifled by judgmental poetry club members that determined I did not have a sense or structure to my emotional, poetic scribbles. My writing was further smashed upon realizing my once praised, detailed essays were picked apart and left for the “writing tutors” to help me mend them. Needless to say, my writing came to a screeching halt. All that fervor was extinguished like a flame put out for night. I believed I had no such talent and I left my poetry books in the dust.
Toward the end of college, flickers in the night appeared and began to remind me WHY I wrote in the first place. I wrote to inspire, to share, to express, to remember, to forget. My writing was strengthened by those tutors, and my poetic capacity was increased by experience alone. However, this wasn’t enough to rekindle the flame for writing. Not until I met Jennie and Michelle.
These past two years have been my saving grace, in terms of writing. By example and passion, both Jennie and Michelle have reminded me of the persuasion, the power, the emotion, the inspiration, the knowledge that words bring. In their personal lives and in their professional teaching careers, they have demonstrated the value of writing and the beauty of words. Following in their footsteps, I have become Writing Core Facilitator, lead Family Writing Project, followed and fell in love with Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study, participated in SOL by myself and as a class, created this blog, and continue to write my own poetry.
Words are the vessel into one another’s mind. They are the white flag on a sinking ship when someone needs guidance. They are the bandage on a wounded heart. Words are the love that a friend carries. Words are my life.
So, whether I am blogging, scribbling on a sticky note, or writing in my journal, I am always writing with the heart of a teenager and the knowledge of an adult.