To the Creative Writing Students I Met Last Week

Dear writers,

First and foremost, a huge thank you to the teachers who work with your club at the high school for coordinating my visit last week. They are some pretty amazing folks. Did you know, they teach all day, then attend your meeting, then coach various and asunder sports before going home, where I’m sure they also have adult life sorts of things to do? You probably knew this, but I’m not sure I did when I was in high school. (So, yeah, umm… a hearty thanks to all of my teachers/coaches, some twenty-ish years ago, for all of that. *blushes in embarrassment*)

Anyway, I digress. Though with good reason, as gratitude is always a worthy side ramble.

What I wanted to say to each and every one of you, is that you are amazing. And you have stories. And I’m going to need you to write them. Whether they take the form of poems, or songs, or plays, or short stories, or novels, or screenplays, or essays, or doctoral theses, or graphic novels, or some other form that doesn’t exist yet (perhaps because you haven’t invented it).

I’m going to need you to write your stories no matter what anyone else thinks, okay? If stories about purple elephant vampires who live in small towns in Virginia aren’t hot right now– write them anyway. If you told the person that sits next to you in U.S. Government that you are writing a poem about the way the snow glitters like sugar crystals on top of expensive trendy doughnuts and she scrunched up her nose and said it sounded stupid– write it anyway. (But maybe don’t share your doughnuts with her…. or do, because you’re better than that.) If you’re worried about what your family or teacher or best friends will think about your stories– please, write them anyway.

And on the days when you don’t really feel like writing– write anyway, even just for a few minutes. Never forget that any worthwhile endeavor takes work and tenacity and the willingness to fail better. You’ve got all that. Seriously, you do.

Now go forth and share your story.


Mary Chris


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