Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 78

The issue is, we don’t really know what is golden about our imagination until we put it on the page and share it. The thing of it is, sometimes it’s hard for us to believe it. Has anyone ever told you that something is wonderful and you just say “Oh, I just knocked that off in a few minutes.”

I tell Dorothy about our rules in creative writing class. We’re not allowed to put disclaimers on our work.

JGH: We can’t say “Oh, it’s not really ready yet” or we “just did it really quick” or act like it means nothing to us.

DA: Yes, yes….I get tempted with it too, and it’s mostly is a complete lie, because mostly you’ve worked really hard to make it happen. It’s like all of our energy went into it and then we pretend that it wasn’t the most important thing we’ve done in the last month….or year (chuckle).

JGH: We’re just praying someone’s going to say “It’s brilliant” and “We love you!”

DA: Yeah….most of us don’t have any confidence in the work that we do.

JGH: Yeah, we have zero confidence in ourselves most of the time.

DA: And we have to work so hard to maintain that confidence that we’re constantly exhausted and unsure of ourselves.

I tell Dorothy that one of the teachers and the students at King City High School have expressed concern about people telling them that they shouldn’t write about the things they are writing about. The teacher and I have both experienced students being discouraged from reading or writing about things that connect with them. The things they have experienced or that their friends and family have experienced and things in their communities are often jarring or “inappropriate.” Teenagers aren’t supposed to do these things. Kids aren’t supposed to know about these things. The fact is they do. So, I ask Dorothy what she has to say about this. I want to know how can we stop this censorship of reality for our kids.

JGH: What do you have to say to young writers like that?