It was their favorite part of the day, even more than the announcement of snack time. What could be sweeter and more heavily anticipated than crushed Ziplock baggies of Oreos and handfuls of fruit snacks with less than .0001 per cent fruit?
It was writing time in third grade.
They asked about it all day long, so anxious to get back to their works-in-progress. I found myself jealous of them, at times. Not only because I wanted to sit down with my own work, but because they were so brave and unencumbered. They weren't worried what their editor was going to think about their character development, or if their plot had any gaping holes. They knew their stories were the best things out there, and they didn't really care what anyone else thought. They just wrote.
I found myself not just listening to their stories, but listening to the third graders:
"Want to be in my story?" Kody leaned over Ryan's desk.
Ryan shook his head, impatiently, his pencil to his own story.
Kody leaned in harder, getting fully into Ryan's personal space. "It's a zombie invasion..."
Ryan squinted his eyes, considering, then nodded his head hard.
Kody smiled in a satisfied way. "And I think I'm putting in a portal."
Lily, on the other side of Ryan, rolled her eyes. "You always put portals in your stories."
Kody shrugged and went back to his zombie invasion.
Sometimes I need to remind myself to grab back onto that sweetness--that third grade confidence that just lets me write whatever I want, without stopping.
So go take the third grade challenge with me today. Just write--without any worries or constraints. Feel free to put a friend in your story, or a portal, or maybe even a zombie invasion. See where it takes you...