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Writer to Writer

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Micah was the last to leave my reading class this morning at the college. He is one of twenty high school juniors taking my class for dual credit.

I had written an online compliment for one of his assignments, letting him know that his writing was fantastic and definitely superior to the work of the other students in class. He waited until the rest had left and then quietly thanked me for the positive feedback.

For the next twenty minutes we dove into a conversation about writing - about things that anyone who does not spend their every waking minute playing with words - would not understand.

It was like I was talking to my sixteen-year-old self.

We talked of the voices of characters yelling in our heads to tell their stories, to write their songs, to express their thoughts - yelling until we finally reach for a pen and scratch their words onto paper.

We talked of times when the voices stop - when they remain silent regardless of how hard we strain to hear - and we worry that they may never be vocal again.

We talked of the agony of trying to choose just the right words and of working through multiple nights on multiple drafts until we are finally satisfied with our final product.

We talked of the elation felt when our new creation has been born, of how we guard that offspring from the eyes and the criticism of others, and of the fear that engulfs us when we finally decide to test the waters and present our words to the world.

We talked of the rush of adrenaline and the surge of joy within our souls as our readers feel the same emotions that we channeled while sitting at our desks.

Finally, we talked of the pride and satisfaction that overcomes us as we realize that the words we took from the voices in our heads, the words we wrote and transferred to someone else’s head, were accepted, embraced, and celebrated.

Such a wonderful conversation, the likes of which I am not often a part of, with someone else who also hears and delights in the thunderous chorus of all those magical voices inside his own head.

Words about words.

Writer to writer.

Copyright, Tim Ramsey, 2018.
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Tim Ramsey has been an educator since 1983.  He taught middle school and high school for 15 years and served as a school administrator for 15 years before retiring in 2013.  He returned to the classroom where he now teaches writing to seventh graders by day and reading to college freshmen by night.  Tim is an avid writer and has been featured in six Chicken Soup for the Soul compilations.  In addition he has received several first place honors from the Arizona English Teachers Association for its annual “Teachers as Writers Contest.”

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Guest Saturday, 23 February 2019