Your words, only better

Writing about Your Experiences

Many times students ask me, “What should I write about?”

I always reply, “I don’t know, but make it good!”

It doesn’t need to be earth-shattering. We haven’t all pulled babies from burning buildings or sailed around the world in a catamaran. That’s okay. Tell a story from your own life that shows something unique about you. Be honest and even a little vulnerable. The story that your friends perk up to listen to- that’s the stuff.

I’ll never forget my personal consultation with Kayla. I asked her about a turning point in her life and she was absolutely stumped. “I am only seventeen,” she said. “I haven’t had any yet.”

Then I asked her about hobbies. She told me she’d been playing the violin for years, including performances in several youth orchestras and competitions. I asked her if she’d always wanted to play violin.

“Oh, no,” she said, eyes wide. “What I really wanted to do was to be a singer. I used to dance around my room with a hair brush mic and everything. Then, in sixth grade, I tried out for county chorus and had a terrible experience with this absolutely awful judge. He was very mean. I felt so crushed!”

“Oh, no,” I said sympathetically.

“Actually,” said Kayla, “it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I changed my class schedule from chorus to a Wheel class where we learned about several different instruments, including the violin. I became hooked. Without that mean judge I never would have discovered my true passion.”

Bingo! Turning point. When I pointed this out to Kayla, she became very excited. “I never would have thought of it that way,” she said.

Your turning pointdoesn’t have to be some huge event or accomplishment. It might be simple, like starting at a new school, overcoming a long-held fear, or winning/losing a competition.

Heather Tomasello