“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”
School reopens for me in another couple of days. And I forsee disorientation in my near future. Not just because I’ll have to go back to my normal schedule of waking at 6, going to sleep at 11 and doing a shit ton of homework in between but also, because my school schedule has changed a bit.
One thing that’s changed is my English class. My school is pretty cool because in Junior year we’re allowed to choose an English elective like Myth, Escapist Literature, Film Literature, Philosophy through Literature, etc. for a semester. The other semester we’re supposed to go back to Jane Eyre and Hamlet. Last semester, I took Creative Writing as my English Elective.
“Writing is like daydreaming through your fingers.”
I can say with absolutely no hesitation that it is my favorite class of all time. My teacher was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She was funny, understanding and she offered thorough and in-depth critique on our work.
The class offered a lot of autonomy. We spent a lot of writing- sometimes on prompts given to us. One of my favorite prompts was given to us during Homecoming week. We were given the bare bones of a scene: guy walks up to girl, asks her to the dance and is slapped. We were supposed to write from a unique PoV. Somebody wrote from the PoV of a sports commentator, someone wrote from the perspective of a rose. I think someone wrote a rap and someone else recorded it in the form of several tweets. Sometimes the guy was 40 years old, sometimes the girl had a boyfriend. Sometimes the rose was fake. Sometimes the boy was a poor guy who was bullied. (I wrote a monologue of an auctioneer who was trying to sell a bunch of demons the guy’s broken heart).
“Writing is the high alchemy of the soul that combines words and ideas to create magic.”
The best part about the class was (I’m being cheesy, I know) were the people. The thing about creative writing classes is that they generally attract several creative people who are interested in writing. As a result, we had such cool pieces that were so different. I am in awe of how smart my classmates were and the ideas they had. Creative writing is hugely collaborative and it increases camaraderie ; we spent a lot of time critiquing other people’s work and having people critique our work. I bounced a lot of ideas off other people. I like to think I contributed equally to other people.
“Does any program really improve anybody, as much as simply identifying them?
-Chang Rae Lee
I got some pretty amazing writing from this class. I became a lot more confident weaving in detail and dialogue into my short-stories. I wrote a piece that I’m ridiculously proud of. It’s rather innocuously titled ‘Dirty Laundry’ but it is a bunch of interlinking scenes of a twisted, poisonous relationship between two sisters.
If you’re still in high school, you should consider taking a creative writing class. (Especially if you’re at Gunn). It’s an immensely rewarding experience. It’s fun, it’s a good place to make friends and it improves your confidence and writing skills.