Saturday, August 23, 2008

WORD: Writing in School When You're Not Supposed To

by Gabrielle Linnell

This can become an ethical debate. Before you start throwing things, o morally faultless ones, consider this: is it better to write during school or play tic-tac-toe with the Gorgeous Person Over There? Shame on you!

Study Halls are legal. If you have a study hall, either get all your homework done so you can write later, or write. Consider it not Study Hall but Writing Period. Maximize all legal time zones.

Combine assignments. Were you assigned a historical research paper? Find a magazine accepting submissions on the same topic, and do the same research for both papers. Again, not really illegal.

Lunch and bus time. Both are perfect writing opportunities for the anti-social. If you never talk with anybody at lunch anyway, you must be writing.

The teacher is droning. If you're in a class that you absolutely do not need to pay attention in, because you've done all the homework or better yet, the sub is talking... pull up your folder. The great part about sneaking in freelance stuff is that it looks like homework. If the teacher drones on a regular basis, another writing period just became available.

You're a freshman and don't care about grades. I can't convince you otherwise. If you're really going to fail, must as well write some while you do it. Perhaps you could convert it to academic credit.

Tests are out. Tests are not a time to be thinking about writing. At all.

School is also a fantastic opportunity to find writing ideas, but that's another [legal] story.

Gabrielle Linnell has written for Cobblestone, ByLine, Library Sparks, New Moon and other magazines.

1 comment:

Pema said...

Wow. Gabrielle, I was amused when I read your "Combining Assignments" point, but when I did a quick google search of a topic I'm currently writing about for school... Guess what? I found a publication. Thank you immensely - I never would have found it otherwise. ;)