Touchstone Moment

My most influential touchstone moment is probably the poem that got published in schools art book. This was the first time I was ever recognized and appreciated for something that I made and took time to think about.

I think the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that I did not write this to get published, I did not write this to get applause, or for teachers to come up to me and say they “appreciated my work”. I wrote this to complete an assignment. I chose something that had meaning to me and I thoughtlessly let my pencil flow. In a way, this kind of makes me think that writing more carelessly is the way to go. I should think less of form or structure and more of getting my emotions out of my head and onto my paper.

This moment also means a lot to me because being praised at such an early age taught me I was good at something. I was able to form a healthy habit of using poetry as an outlet for expression. I also received very positive reactions whenever someone would see me writing and ask what I was doing, which in a way, made me want to do it even more. I just wanted to get those “oh my goodness”’s and “you’re so talented”’s. But ultimately, now when I am having any type of emotion really, I like to write poetry in my notes on my phone, or if I start fantasizing about anything in particular, I am able to write a short story about it.

From this experience, I use writing as a tool to keep my thoughts from eating away at my brain.


3 thoughts on “Touchstone Moment”

  1. It’s wonderful that you realized you could be a writer in such a fun way. Encouragement is very important for young writers because confidence is an integral part of writing. I like how you discovered you could write without pressure, and feel like writing is an escape rather than a pressure.

  2. More often than not, really strong writing is not written with publication in mind. It is only when we really express ourselves that our writing reaches its full potential. This is such a beautiful moment. I am so glad you were able to have such a positive experience!

  3. It’s interesting to me to see how your experiences as a writer somewhat challenged Carol Dweck’s observations on the “growth mindset.” I do think it’s valuable for writers to hear the impact their work has on an audience. How do you anticipate drawing on this experience in your teaching? How will you provide opportunities for your students to create writing that is personally meaningful to them?

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