[Script for Literacy Narrative Podcast]
Podcast Topic: Writing as self-expression; an overview of my creative writing experience.
Narrator: Robb Ridgley
Music: Kevin Macleod, "Soporific"
Note: This is only a script — the final product may not be identical.
I’ve consistently ranted to my peers, my teachers, my friends, that I absolutely hate writing. For most my writing career I exclusively viewed writing as an “aimless” skill— a skill only useful for those born with a specific talent to craft beautiful and compelling stories out of nothing. For normal people, like me, I truly and wholly believed writing itself was useless. Yet, I wasn’t always like this.
[Cut-off of podcast music, end of intro]
I remember as a child when I was first beginning to read and write. When I was nearly four years old I would practice the alphabet in front of my grandparents for candy like some show dog. But it worked. I’m told it wasn’t long until I learned to read, and I would read anything I could: signs, cereal boxes, short books, anything. Soon enough, apparently, I was reading more and more books as my little brain increasingly grew. This is when my first memories begin to appear. While possessing this newfound ability and the creativity of a young elementary school kid, I remember finally being able to jot down the stories and ideas that bounced around in my little brain; finally, I was able to express myself. The stories were the product of my imagination and I could create any story I wanted. Whether it be about myself or about my pet rat’s crazy super powers I was sure that he secretly possessed, I was fascinated with owning the ability to turn these thoughts into real stories like the ones I loved to read. It gave me newfound confidence; I rushed to show my stories to anybody that would listen: my parents, my teachers, my classmates, anybody. I even dreamed of growing up to become a writer. So, what happened?
[Exceptionally slow and subtle music crescendo, only if not a distraction]
Similarly to so many other people, I felt as if my creativity faded as I grew. Thus, so did my motivation. As I grew, and my scope of reading grew as well, I became overwhelmed by the sheer scale of creativity in writing. Novels like “Harry Potter” and “Percy Jackson” felt so [...] unique, creative — everything I dreamed my stories could be. Yet, instead of inspired, I felt [...] defeated. I noticed that my stories of “Super Harry” (my named superhero rat stories) were nothing in comparison, and not many people were as interested in my imaginative stories the older I became. It was then, around the age of eight or nine, when my perspective on writing changed. My confidence in my own writing plummeted. I grew to resent it more than love it; I forced myself into believing that writing itself was a useless skill unless you were born incredibly gifted with immeasurable creativity. I only opted into writing when it was some “busy work” required for a writing class. I chose to believe that since I couldn’t express myself the same way as others could, there was no point in writing. Thus, I fell into the common mindset.
It wasn’t until recently that I would learn how wrong I was, ten years later, when I found one of my old colored story books. I grinned and laughed at how terrible the words and the drawings were, pointing out every instance of a misspelling of common words or poor sentence structure that were now drilled into my brain through years of schooling on rhetoric and grammar. The more I read, the more I began to realize that, even when the writing is terrible, the writing is still good. Not in the syntax or the grammar but in the sense that it acted to me as a way for self-expression — as a device to explain and order the ideas and thoughts in my head in an interesting way, something I hadn’t even considered since I was that five-ish year old kid just learning to write. Those stories were my stories, and they weren’t comparable to any of the other greats of literature or fantasy that I had read over the years because they were all created for different purposes. I realized that as a kid I never really cared how my work compared to others, because I never wrote it for anything other than expressing the stories I enjoyed thinking and fantasizing about. So, with this new attitude, I began to write again, in my free time, for the first time in a long, long time…
[Definitive yet gradual crescendo into outro and ending]
…At first it was hard, very hard, to just write a story without stressing over every aspect of grammar, every comma or semicolon, every topic sentence as if it were under the inspection of an eagle-eyed teacher. Yet, I’m writing again. [Distinctive increase in music] Even if my stories, both imaginative or real, pale in comparison to Harry Potter or Great Gatsby, I’m still writing and expressing ideas that had been trapped inside my head all these years; I’m gaining confidence and enjoyment through writing these short stories, just as I had ten years ago. Even if they’re terrible, they’re still something.
The podcast and the script are linked to the left.