Schools have a lot to answer for. At some point in your life, you have had to write an essay. Introductory paragraph, main argument, quotations then conclusion.
Who were these essays for, the teacher. Schools taught you how to write essays that only people in the school system.
You joke about how you’ve never needed algebra since leaving school. What about writing an essay? You’ve had to write since leaving school, but you only use the basics you learned in primary school.
Looking back to school, what did it teach you? It showed you how to jump through hoops.
Jump through the hoops to pass the exam. How to fill out your university application form. How to jump through hoops and get a job so you can skip through the final hoop into your grave.
School taught you to be obedient. I’m going to move away from trashing schools and teachers, that’s another essay.
Apart from maths, school hasn’t taught you anything that you can use today.
I want to ask you if you can write? Can you communicate with others? Can you express yourself openly so that no one gets confused about your meaning? Can you talk with yourself? Do you know how you feel about all aspects of your life?
Back in school, I loved creative writing assignments. They were few and far between; I can only remember two of them. One in primary seven, last year of primary school and once in first year of second…ahem…grammar school.
In school, I was a daydreamer and got the bare minimum passing grades. Why should you break your heart over something that you didn’t care about? Had I gone to school a few years later doctors would have diagnosed me with Attention Deficit Disorder.
If I went to school today, I would be labelled autistic and put on hormone blockers. You have to understand; a quiet classroom is more important than child development.
I was a daydreamer because school bored me. Due to my average grades, I was stuck in the dumb class. One of the few things that got me focused on was the creative writing assignments. I had the focus; I even finished before everyone else.
In school, I was taking one of the hardest most masculine GCSE/A Levels you could take Drama and theatre studies. The class had to write short scripts. That was fun, but our teacher would make me change everything because it was a little bit racist and a lot sexist. You know, good writing. There was no guidance offered by our teacher, nothing about how to structure a play or come up with a plot.
Our drama teacher was dedicated though, dedicated to getting pregnant. Each year as our exams were coming up she was off firing another one out.
Thankfully we got one of the best substitute teachers in existence. He was a little odd, but he committed himself to making sure that the class got the support and guidance needed. If your reading this Mr Gribbon, you rocked.
I’ve always loved writing, and recently I’ve been doing it a lot more. This could be you. You want to write, but you don’t know how. You could write short stories like me but the market is pretty saturated, and I don’t want you muscling in on it.
You have so much potential for your writing you don’t even know.
First, there are some ground rules. The most important one is that you write longhand, with a pen and pad.
You could do it with a computer, but it won’t feel as personal. You’ll rewrite your first line over and over again and never get anywhere.
Instead, you are to invest in a pen and a pad. Everything with me starts with a pen and pad. Whenever I transfer the writing to the computer that counts as an edit.
You carry this pen and pad around with you, get an A6 Pukka pad, they’re compact, and the covers are durable.
Write down anything that comes to mind. It will be slow for you at first as you feel self-conscious, but you’ll find that the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
What you write doesn’t even have to be creative. You could write a to-do list, a dream or some random thought that enters your head. Have pen and paper nearby for when you shower because that’s when all best ideas occur.
The more you write, the more that you will notice that you are writing. Once you get over that initial self-consciousness, the brain starts to cut loose. Your brain will start rewarding you with more and more ideas.
Eventually, you will have filled a book; it won’t take as long as you think. Give it some time, but whenever you look back over your writing, some of it will be terrible. That’s fine; this book is just for you.
You will also notice something else that you weren’t expecting not only are some of your sentences not bad they’re good. Then you’ll start wanting to share your writing with other people. They’ll like your writing too, not at first but they will. Then they might start writing too.
There is a potential with writing. You don’t have to make up stories; it could be a short essay about what you think about an issue close to your heart.
You could write a letter to someone dear to you or someone who will never meet.
Writing things down is a great way to communicate with yourself. When you know who you are, you’re better prepared to present yourself to the world. When you’re sure of yourself, you become more confident. When you become more confident, the chances of you achieving what you will increase dramatically.