Formal writing can be extremely overwhelming. We have all been there: your English teacher pulls the “Okay class, you will write a five-paragraph essay which is due at 11:59 p.m” and your heart drops. It happens to the best of us, but why do we reach this level of anxiety when it comes to writing? Well, it might be because people (and especially teenagers) simply do not see writing as anything other than an awful class assignment. But to me, writing has always been a meaningful and an authentic form of expression. I see it as a way to voice my thoughts on paper, even on an academic paper.
Let’s go back to childhood and more specifically, back to elementary school. Kids’ dislike of writing may be due to the fact that schools shove mandatory state tests down students’ throats. I believe these state tests force kids to believe writing is just for school and not for fun (which is so false). But, it’s not rocket science- when students are not taught the skills they need to write or they aren’t introduced to the idea that writing is fun when they are little, they won’t like it when they grow up.
Yet, writing is one of the most important skills one can possess. The educational system portrays writing as simply something to do solely for school, which lacks authenticity. No doubt, some students find the process of written communication to be difficult, especially if they were never taught the fundamentals and fun of writing. Teachers and parents should encourage students to learn skill development for those who deal with a lack of pleasure from writing. Even though writing may seem like drudgery, just get your pencil on the paper and write…I promise it is not that scary.
Students gain confidence in their writing skills, by you guessed it, practicing to write. By this, I do not mean writing to simply fill the page. I mean writing for a purpose that is meaningful to you. I know you are wondering: what the heck does “writing with a purpose” mean? Don’t worry, it’s simple. You know that feeling when you do something you love so much and never want to stop doing it? You could relate this to anything you are passionate about: sports, music, Instagram, anything…that passion is what authentic writing is all about.
With all these facts in mind, many high schoolers end up being unaware that writing is an incredible way to express a little thing called an inner voice (the thing I am using to speak to you, right now). They may not know about the numerous outlets for authentic writing that are available, especially in school. In NVOT, there are classes that focus on free and meaningful writing. However, many students do not get involved in these type of classes, but I really think they should as writing is really enjoyable and beneficial. If schools and parents push the fact that writing can be enjoyable, the endless struggle students face to get started or to keep track of their thoughts could dissipate.