Friday, October 19, 2012

My First School Visit

This week I was asked to speak at a High School Creative Writing class. Uh yeah, that's right. It happened. And yes, I realize it sounds crazy that a girl with a blog called the B-Word, and who also writes books about a high school junior who kills people, would be asked to mentor our youth. But really, it happened.

It went something like this:

Me: Writing is hard! If you want to do something easy, be a dentist!

Student: But isn't dental school hard too?

Me: Yes, but only for four years and then it's all gravy. With writing, it may take a lot longer, and there is no guarantee that it will ever get any easier or that all your hard work will pay off.

Student: Oh. *hangs head as if all dreams are officially crushed*

Me: BUT, if it's your passion, it doesn't matter. And you never, ever give up on your dreams! Write because you love it. Work hard at it because you love it. And never let the rejection, the difficult moments, or learning curve stop you.

I spoke for about thirty minutes about the process of publication. I answered questions about my "day job" (Family Law/Estate Planning Attorney), about what I studied in college (theater), about what helps me write (Diet Coke), and if I've read Fifty Shades of Gray (NO!!! And you shouldn't have either silly child!). Then I bought some fundraising chocolate from a really cute kid who loves to write--I could tell by the way his eyes lit up when he talked about it.

It was a great first school visit. I can't wait to do it again.

Any good/funny/ridiculous school visiting stories out there?


  1. Haha. I love how you pulled out of crushing that kids dream. ;) And the fact that they asked you about Shades.

    Good for you!

  2. you are too funny! and they asked you about 50 shades? that's kind of disturbing, LOL

  3. Way to motivate those kids. I'm sure they're really considering a future in writing now. ha ha. I think you probably did great, and half the boys will be dreaming of you tonight.

  4. That's awesome! You're getting warmed up for being a presenter already. This means one day I'll be able to go up to you with your book and ask "can I have your autograph?" :)

  5. sounds fun and scary. High schoolers scare me, I admit it.

  6. Check you out, rock star! You're already in demand. :D

  7. That sounds really fun! I always loved it when a writer or artist would come speak to us in school. The kids who like to write will remember your visit for a long time, maybe forever!

  8. Hey, that was my class! :D So happy I found your blog, I already printed out a version of Save the Cat and I'm ready to do this! (I am a MAJOR pantser and procrastinator, so thanks for the help and motivation)
    Thank you so much for coming to talk to us!

  9. Wait--you studied theatre in college? Are we twins? I got my Theatre Arts degree before going on to law school.

    Yeah, you rock.

    Sounds like you gave some great advice!

  10. Congrats on getting through your first school visit! Crushing their dreams and all. ;) And I'm with Erin-- those boys are definitely going to be dreaming about you tonight!

    One of my favorite school visit moments:

    Kid raises hand, I call on him. "I like your pockets."

    Nice. I love randomness.

  11. No point in sugar-coating a tough job (writing that is).

  12. How fun! I'm sure you were great and offered tons of great advice and encouragement.

  13. Huge applause for that moment with the abominable craptastic horridness called FIFTY SHEDS OF GREY :)

  14. Ooo, I can't wait till I get to do one of these! I love speaking and presenting. So glad it went well!

  15. That sounds like fun Jessie! And of course you had to mention the hard bits. After all, the dreamer who really wants it won't see those as insurmountable! Well, on most days anyway. :)