Creative writing: the freedom to be

Jency Clement, Beyond Liberty Editor

A coal-mining town in the middle of Russia.

As I twiddle the pencil in my hand, my thoughts swirl. There are so many options in this strange village my class has created, and my classmates and I utilize every opportunity to add to our town, which slowly fills with drug dealers, angry environmentalists, and coal miners.

When I first put my pencil to the paper, I am slow, uncertain. But as I continue, words pour out of me, creating characters and stories.

I never thought I was capable of this.

Yet, after being placed in a class with a prompt, some direction, and a pencil, I’ve gained access to abilities I never knew existed.

No, I’m not writing an essay or an article. Instead I’m writing about anything I want to write about. My stories vary: sometimes they’re interesting, sometimes they’re boring, sometimes they’re deep, and sometimes they’re just weird.

As I let myself write freely, I realize how incredible Creative Writing is. I don’t have to write for anyone besides myself. When Ms. O’Brien reads my work, she does not attempt to quantify my work with percentages and critical grading; I am under no pressure.

No other class lets me do anything like this.

So, thank you Ms. O’Brien, Mr. Level, and all other Creative Writing teachers. Thank you for letting us make weird towns. Thank you for fostering an environment that lets us just be us. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to express ourselves. Thank you.