My productive experience at VSA Future My productive experience at VSA Future By Vivian, Grade 8 Writing has always been something I struggled with since elementary school. From coming up with topics to write about, to how to execute the actual writing, I was met with hardships along the entire journey. To me, writing was like a maze, but not the fun kind. Instead, it seemed more like the kind you explore for days yet land right back in square one. It’s safe to say writing was not an enjoyable experience for me. This was intensified once I reached middle school. I was the embodiment of the smart kid stereotype. I was diligent, soft-spoken, and strived to get a beautiful report card my parents would be proud of. Everyone around me praised me, like my parents telling everyone how proud of me they were, and my classmates giving backhanded compliments about how they wished to be me. To outsiders, I seemed perfect, eager to learn new things, as well as well-rounded in both academics and sports. But no matter how perfect one seemed they always had their flaws, and writing was mine. Writing was the one setback in my road to good grades, it was a constant battle to keep my writing on par with other subjects, so it didn’t weigh me back. That’s when I knew I had to do something about it, it’s also when I decided to push my limits by enrolling in a writing course this summer break. Never in my life have I felt as drained as the first few weeks of that course. No matter how hard I tried, words just wouldn’t come to me. It was like squeezing out the last bit of toothpaste, you know it’s somewhere in there, you just can’t get it out. I regretted enrolling in the class, it was stressful having to write something you weren’t proud of. But this course was different from all the other courses I’ve enrolled in in the past. Usually, I wouldn’t really gain much from writing courses, all they would do was hand out assignments and then make us write. The writing techniques they taught were very vague only giving me a general description and I couldn’t get a good picture of exactly how I should use these techniques in my writing. But this course was drastically different. After undergoing this course, I realized that the reason I had such an excruciating time writing was because I didn’t have a clue about what to write. And I couldn’t thank my teacher enough for the guidance she has given to me in this class. Before, I struggled with my structure for academic writing because I didn’t know what should be included in an introduction, body, or conclusion paragraph. Body paragraphs were easier to write because I had evidence and reasoning, but the intro and conclusion were an enigma to me. I often found myself struggling to write over four sentences. After taking this course and learning a format and technique to writing the beginning and end, I could write seven to eight sentences effortlessly. Then, it was the creative writing and the ideas that came to mind and how I chose to express them. I wasn’t blankly staring out into the distance hoping for an idea to hit me like a truck anymore. My thought process involved a lot more active thinking and recalling. From books I’ve read to, details in my daily life, nothing could escape from my mind if I was contemplating for a story idea. Everything would be able to spark an idea in my mind for a thrilling story with twists and turns. The challenge was not about how there were no ideas coming to mind anymore. The real challenge now was “which?”. Which idea would make the best story? Which would make a memorable one? Was there one with a moral of the story? Not all my writing was perfect, but I could feel significant improvement with each one, giving them all the effort, I had. Still, not every one of them was perfect. But I was proud of every single piece of writing. After the 3 long weeks of the course, I finally understood how to use writing to express myself. If I could go back to the time before I had these realizations, I would tell myself what the teacher told me sooner. But I don’t’ have the technology or resources to do that. The only thing I can do is look to the future and further improve my writing. Writing is like a video game, constantly facing challenges and new quests to conquer and achieve. With the lessons learned from the previous endeavors, and the solid foundation I have built from that, I will continue to learn from what I write and struggle on the journey to robust writing.