Teen Writer Success: Attitude Adjustment

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“I hate writing,”  she proudly snarled as I finished reading her essay homework.  Before I could begin feedback, she beamed, “I love math, and I plan on studying computer science at Georgia Tech.”

I was taken by her confidence in opposing passions.  “So how are you doing in English class?”

“My only B’s.”

Her disgusted tone told me these grades soiled her perfect GPA.

“Do you think that’s because you really, really don’t like doing it?”

She shrugged her shoulders, pouted her lips and darted her eyes to the side, obviously long since finished with examining her grades.

teen.4“Do you think you will have to write at Tech?”


“Will you despise it, too?” I asked directly.

She looked at me quizzically. “Yeah.”

“And in your career, will you have to write?”

She swallowed.  “I guess.”

“Will you loathe it?” I whispered and raised an eyebrow.

She realized I was joking, so I smiled and began pointing out all the good in her essay.  In addition to a strong grasp of structure and grammar, I illuminated clever phrases, intelligent ideas, and keen persuasive techniques.

Her face lifted, almost glowed.  “Really?”

“Really,” I nodded.  “Like it or not, you write well.  Well. . .well enough for a B, and that. . .” I paused to put down my pen before looking her square in the eye, “that is mainly because you are fighting the process.”

Her gaze was locked on mine as she wanted the answer.

“Maybe it’s time to stop hating it, and partner with your writing.”

She grinned slightly.

“Befriend your enemy,” I proclaimed as I put my pen away, our time ending.  “You’ll need that friend for college and scholarship apps, a resume, and then all the way on your way up the ladder.”

“When can you work with me about writing again?”

“When you shift your attitude.  Anything you begin from a sour position is bound to turn out poorly,” I said, pausing to take a breath.  “And isn’t it telling that even with all that negativity, you’ve still made B’s.”

“I’m ready to make an A.”

“Then get ready to enjoy your work.  Beginning with a positive outlook makes everything easier.”

After thanking me and parting, I knew writing would most likely never overcome math as her favorite subject, and that was okay.  At least her writing could benefit from some of her wonderful enthusiasm.

Here’s another story about Teen Writer Success.

Disclaimer —  It’s true: writers write what they know, and, yes, I write from my experiences.  However, all characters and situations in my stories are fictitious fusions, creative amalgamations.  Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or real interactions with me are purely coincidental.


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