I am now a writer by profession, working on contract for many clients across the world. It sounds glamorous, but it wasn’t always that easy to drum up a story. In fact, when I was in high school, there wasn’t a lot on the Web regarding writing techniques, and I mainly relied on the teaching of my English instructors.
I had some great teachers, and I know the best ones encouraged me to write like I speak. They chose interesting topics and then we gave impassioned speeches. But the hardest part was of course preparing that script. So I will tell you how I succeeded in writing during these high school years.
I decided first off to write what I knew. This seems to be counter-intuitive to all the people that will tell you to take risks and bite off more than you can chew. And it is. Because in high school, time management is everything. You have a box of time for academics, some for parties, some for working out, and still others for family dinners. I took those other chunks of time spent away from academics as inspiration for my writing. I specifically drew upon the feelings I experienced when certain situations swayed a certain way. And then when it came time to choose the topical question to write on, I chose one that related also to my own personal experience. This helped me not only get through my assignments with ease, but it was also extremely cathartic. I found I spent less time journaling, and more time channeling my emotions into projects. But okay, I still had a diary. Every teenage girl needs one. Maybe now a days that could be translated into, every teenage girl needs a Twitter account. Honestly though, the best part about writing for English was that I got to test out if I was somewhat normal by transposing myself into the characters that I was writing about brains. It made me feel less alone.
I also wrote for the school paper in high school. Getting leads for assignments was difficult because first I had to pitch an idea, and then come out with a unique take and headline. I succeeded in journalism class because there was this thing called a deadline. Sometimes those can be helpful in shaking writer’s block. Enrolling in that class was a great decision that has helped shape my future life path. I also found that second semester when I was just a contributing author and was not in the actual class, my assignments did not necessarily get first priority. So basically, if you’re going to write for anything in high school, make sure you join the actual group so you’re a part of something larger. It can be very motivating to have a purpose behind those potential publications.
And finally, writing for the sciences. I remember Biology used to really stump me. I was getting all hung up on sentence structure, and forgetting that it is basically content that counts. So after a teacher talked to me about getting in the way of my own graduation by sabotaging myself, I realized sometimes, I was just scared to move on. University seemed more frightening than the group communal of high school halls. But faced with the prospect of refusing to write imperfect words or graduating with all my classmates, I chose the latter.
We all have challenges and hang ups when it comes to writing. This is only natural. But during high school, there were times where I really had to write or sink. And I think that it is like that for every high school student. I succeeded in English by writing about my experience and transposing my feelings into cathartic art. In journalism class, I became a part of something larger than myself and was motivated to write because of impending deadlines. For the sciences, I wrote the concepts almost like I would in point form, and focused on garnering accurate content instead of accolades for unique words and perfect grammar. So here’s a glimpse into my successful essay writing experience in high school times. I know you absolutely can do it too!