Updated: Apr 1, 2021
My first encounter with real writing came in a sixth grade classroom. I’m not talking about spelling or sentence writing as a mechanical skill, I’m talking about thoughts from your mind put down on a piece of paper. I remember the teacher of that sixth grade English class giving us an assignment of imaginative writing. We could write about anything we wanted to, as long as it was clean, detailed and something that we knew about. It had to be at least five sheets of paper long, (no skipping lines), and we couldn’t use any books, or encyclopedias. It had to be right out of our own knowledge and thoughts.
At that time I was not sure that I had anything to write about, after all what does a little twelve year old really know about anything anyways. I went home with the assignment and asked my father what he thought I could write about. He suggested my experiences last summer with growing our garden, or growing up with my brothers and him. His suggestions were possible and I pondered them as I sat the table and helped him prepare dinner.
I later went to my room and thought for several hours about the things that I really knew about. I knew about being a girl, I knew about being a sister and daughter. I knew about my mom, who was gone now, but I could still remember some things about her even though they were fading. I knew about my grandmothers who I loved spending time with and learning from. I knew about my friends at school and the things we did together. I knew about animals, horses, cows, dogs and chickens. I knew about trees, climbing in them and eating the cherries and apples they produced. I knew about ice skating on a frozen pond in the middle of winter and my butt being so cold I couldn’t feel it. I knew about church and excepting Jesus for the first time.
Taking out my notebook, I started listing all the things I could think of that I as a little girl knew about. It was amazing the things I knew and what was even more amazing was trying to decide which one I wanted to write about. I finally decided to write about climbing trees with my brothers and getting sick from all the cherries I ate. I suppose to most readers these days that wouldn’t make much of a story but to a little twelve year old, it was the most awesome experience ever, especially when I could do it whenever I wanted by just walking out my back door, and the cherries were in season.
Writing doesn’t have to be a chore, or an assignment to those that listen to their thoughts and imaginations. Writing opens up a world of one person’s experiences or thoughts, to another person who would like to take that journey. Come with me and see what I know.