Don't Be Afraid of Your True Writing or Work

LL-Rumors Signing

Such an interesting convergence this morning. I am having three conversations about the same thing. One is happening in my dining room. One on Twitter. And one in email.

The thing?

People are nervous about their true condition.

It has been framed slightly differently in the three conversations. One person thinks her style needs to change before she can step out. Another is concerned that she can't use a life circumstance to mold an activity she needs to work with. And the third, my own daughter, began by refusing to write an assignment, because she was so angry about it she could just about spit.

Let me reign this in to the conversation with my daughter. "Embrace the anger," I told her. "It's your strongest response. Don't be afraid of it. Use it."

She is just now finishing an essay she decided to write, on the reason that hopeless literature shouldn't be the focus of a high school curriculum. She has brought in the Greeks' opinion on comedy being more important than tragedy, and she has quoted Willliam Faulkner's Nobel Prize speech. She has taken the anger of her first draft and turned it into an incisive, insightful, profound essay that should make any teacher take a second look at what he or she is using for a literature program.

Which is to say... don't be afraid of where you are. Embrace the strongest point of your experience. The thing that is consuming your time or your emotions. It is your power-point.

Signing Rumors photo by Kelly Sauer. Used with permission.

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Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

"She has brought in the Greeks' opinion on comedy being more important than tragedy,"

I am jealous that she even KNOWS this. Stunned.

My proudest paper ever was the one that I wrote at a political school about why Christians should not be involved in politics, when the rest of the class had rewritten their well-fed reasons for deep involvement.

I received the highest grade in the class with that paper, and I sat on a panel and defended my position well, much to my classmates' horror. Did I believe it? Some of them still don't know...

12:38 PM  
Anonymous lyla.lindquist@gmail.com said...

Where is that point where we stop thinking it always must be something other than what it is?

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With your daughter's permission, I would love to read her essay. Even though my kids are still years from high school literature, the topic interests me from an I-used-to-be-an-almost-English-teacher perspective. Plus, it's always refreshing to read something from a young person that is well written. :)

1:51 PM  

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