We need more creative writing in our curriculum

Brittany Toombs, Managing Editor

Creative writing makes us better thinkers, analyzers, and readers—yet English classes place it last on their lengthy list of activities and lessons.
We hear about critically acclaimed authors every day. We learn how to recognize when a piece is supposedly esteemed. But when will the students learn how to write classics for a new generation?
I’d argue that expressing one’s ideas and thoughts through creative writing is more valuable than learning how to analyze and evaluate other works. It’s often been said that reading makes us better writers—but maybe it’s the other way around. Doesn’t learning how to translate creative thoughts into a written work allow you to understand the inner-workings of another author’s mind, leading to a more advanced analysis?
I concede that high school English classes—Honors and AP classes especially—have endless content to cover, which doesn’t allow much room for creativity. But maybe that’s the root of the problem. The College Boards is missing the key connection between creativity and intelligence. By discovering your personal brand of writing, you will inevitably improve your analysis of another writer’s.
Why do fiction and narrative non-fiction outsell every other literary genre? Why do more than 40 million people have Wattpad accounts? The desire to create and share ideas is embedded in human nature. As elementary school kids, we were constantly encouraged to be inventive with our youthful poems and adorable short stories. Why did the education system stop developing creativity when we reached high school?
Creative Writing—taught by Steve Valach—was a class I looked forward to my freshman year. Being a typical high school kid with no spare time, having a designated space to explore my thoughts wasn’t only enjoyable, but therapeutic.
I’d like to present two challenges to Liberty. Students: take Creative Writing, a fantastic class which isn’t a highly requested in scheduling. You’ll be surprised how much you grow—not only as an academic, but as a person. Teachers: try to squeeze more creative writing in your curriculum. I know your lesson plans are crammed, but you’ll be amazed as your students advance as writers and as individuals.