In English classes throughout my life my teachers have assigned horrendous essays of all different styles, formats, pages lengths, and other ridiculous requirements. My teachers do not physically force me to write, but through years of overachieving, I would rather write than receive an incomplete. I love to write but not necessarily on a specific topic. I used to want to write books, but through years of my teachers forcing me to write and my mom telling me I should write more, I have developed a relatively strong hatred for writing. I love creative writing when I can write on one of my passionate topics. When I write about a subject I care about, the words just pour out.
I write letters to my friends who live in different states, but my most favorite letters to write are birthday cards. I love to fill the cards with writing and the envelopes with confetti so when the card arrives on that person’s special day and they rip it open the confetti will fly. My friend Hillary once told me she had just cleaned her room when she opened my letter, and she still finds confetti months later. It makes me feel good that every time she found a little piece of confetti she thought of me and remembered her happy birthday. The short time it took for me to write that heart-felt card brought months of happiness. These times make writing worthwhile.
Writing in my journal has become one of my most valuable writing experiences. In my journal I write “Note to Posterity” next to important entries. These are certain tips I have for my children so they do not have to read my entire life’s story about the nights I cannot sleep or when I stubbed my toe on the mirror. I may include many otherwise useless things, but I do want to share with them the values I have learned in my life, the curse of procrastination, and the good feeling of hard work.
While I write for many reasons, my least compelling writing results from a requirement to write. Writing communicates facts, love, and advice. It must come from experience and the heart. It cannot come from force or coercion. Emily Dickinson did not have titles on her now world renowned poems, and Shakespeare wrote, “To be or not to be…” so why must I follow some artificial rubric in order to pass a class?