My Elementary School Writing Career

August 6, 2012
In first grade, my foremost creative writing assignments were issued by my teacher, Mrs. Gadreau, to whom I owe extreme thanks for introducing me to this art of throwing words onto paper and creating a story.

What we had to do was simple. There were three different colored books, one yellow, one blue, and one green, which were all a group of papers folded together and stapled at the seam. In the yellow, we had our “sloppy copy.” This was basically a bunch of random words and scribbles compiled on the first three or four pages of the book, none of us made it all the way through on the first try. With these ramblings somehow creating a story, we moved to the blue book where we took our “sloppy copy” and edited it, making it understandable to more than just ourselves. We also began adding pictures, bringing our story to life with a little color. Then, we moved on to the coveted green book. The others were just a bunch of blank pages stapled together, but this was a bunch of blank pages stapled together with lines! And, they started half-way down the page, so there was a place to draw a picture! The organization skills that went in to making this book were baffling. To me, the green book was kind of a big deal. We had to make sure our story was absolutely perfect, with no mistakes, everything spelled correctly, all the pictures drawn, and so on. And then we were done. We had a “published” story of our own. I’m not sure what it was about finishing that green book, but it always felt so amazing. And then holding it, looking at my finished story, I felt that sense of accomplishment I never wanted to go away. That’s always the best part, not having other people read your work or getting told how good it is, but looking at a piece that you’ve picked apart bit by bit and worked so hard on for days, finally polished, finally finished, and still hot from the printer. When my six-year-old self felt that for the first time, I guess it just stuck and, years later, I’m still doing the same thing.

Although, back in the first grade, all I really understood was that after you write stuff on paper, you had to type it so it was published. And of course, typing was way beyond my level of understanding. So, at the end of the school year, way back in 2002, my unbelievable teacher took all of our stories and compiled them into books (with laminated covers!) for each of us. All we had to do was draw in the pictures and we had our first published book. I still have it in my junior year of high school, somewhere at the bottom of my closet, and I plan on keeping for the years to come. Even though, since 2002, my inspiration has expanded from just Spy Kids and trips to my grandma’s house, I still possess the same motivation. I still call them “sloppy copies.” I still get really excited when I get to type something. I still prefer to write on paper with lines, although the lines have shrunken and multiplied significantly since my days in ’02. But above all, I still hug the final draft when it comes out of the printer, feeling and smelling warm. I get that same sense of accomplishment that will never get old even after nine years. And, also even after nine years, I still write.
The End

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