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edu180atl: allie jeffay 11.12.12

You know, possibly the greatest thing I’ve learned today happened not in class, but in trying to write this. I’ve probably deleted my work a dozen times. And the reason? I was worried that what I had just written wasn’t good enough—that what I wanted to say in my mind somehow wouldn’t translate to the page. I wanted to sound intellectual and witty. Usually, I consider myself intellectual and witty, but when I try too hard it ends up, well, like I’m trying too hard. I found myself with a combination of writers block and self hate. Then it hit me.

Instead of just worrying about the quality of my writing, and thereby getting me nowhere, I decided to just write. Write, and then revise later. And without my “inner critic”, as I like to say, bothering me, I felt free. Free like the trees swaying the breeze. Free to write whatever I wanted.

So that’s what I’ve learned. Don’t question yourself so much. You’ll feel great. Sure, there are moments when you should think before you speak or act, but with writing, there’s always time to review and revise.

About the Author:  Allie Jeffay is in 8th grade, an extreme theater geek, and a scuba diver. Enjoys cats, traveling (but not traveling with cats), and music.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Megan Howard #

    Bravo for your willingness to take a risk and just put “it” out there — a lot of folks (both children and adults) can learn from your example. For so long, I feared writing anything in public. It had to be perfect – revised, edited, polished — before I’d share it with a worldwide audience. I have grown as a writer by taking risks and putting my thoughts out there…polished or not! Being vulnerable — something that you model so well in this post — is one of the most important aspects to being a learner. I’m glad that I found that as an adult — and proud of you for finding the courage as a middle schooler. Keep risking, growing, sharing….you’ll be glad you did!

    November 12, 2012
  2. Feeling free is the most glorious feeling in the world, isn’t it! Bravo for putting your inner critic where it wouldn’t bother you…you’ll have to find lots of places to send it to over time…you did that today. Write, write, write, write…freely…letting the words soar and spill onto the pages because they are fully you. That is what matters most…your voice. You shared a beautiful lesson.

    November 12, 2012
  3. Maryellen Berry #

    Our inner critic can cripple creativity. How powerful to realize as an 8th grader that you have that voice inside that is too cautious, too worried, and too stifling! Keep writing and let those words flow. I have found that when I critique less, my writing is stronger than I expected.

    November 13, 2012

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