8 Writing Assignments I Hated as a School Kid

Source: Bryan McDonald, Flickr
Source: Bryan McDonald, Flickr

8 Writing Assignments I Hated as a school kid

Book Report on “A Tale of Two Cities” – This was probably one of the worst assignments for me as a student period. As I got older I definitely learned to appreciate Charles Dickson’s work, but as a middle school girl more interested in music videos, reading this book was the pits. On top of that I had to give an oral book report to the class for a grade. We were instructed to make outline notes on index cards….well I used at least three packets of index cards to cover all the points in the book! By the time I was halfway through, half the class was asleep and the teacher rushed me to finish up my report. I guess she was bored too.

Essay on what I did over the summer vacation – In my opinion, there was nothing less stimulating for a writing assignment. Who cares what I did over the summer? Why did we have to write about it every year when school started? Most summers were spent babysitting my siblings, attending summer camp and Vacation Bible School. Boring!

Book report on “Lord of the Flies” – I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now. This book freaked me out the first time I read it. The boys killing each other was shocking, and the pig head statue gave me nightmares. Discussing it in English class was horrible because the teacher really wanted to get deep with the pig head. Ugh.

Interpreting Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” – After reading it for English Advanced Placement (Honors) class over the summer of senior year, the teacher was so eager to discuss it once class started. She was also looking forward to our written insight on the book. I wasn’t. Morrison’s work was slow to grow on me so reading such graphic scenarios and having to write about them grossed me out.

Responses to math word problems! Ugh!!! – Not exactly literature, but those word problems were definitely a writing assignment! I dreaded any question that started with “Two trains leaving different stations at the same time…” I could never figure out who arrived first and how!

Drills on subject and predicates – I was pretty good at these assignments, but after a while they really started getting on my nerves. I guess the teacher wanted to make sure everyone mastered it before moving onto the next lesson. So annoying….

Prepositions and adverbs…another ugh!

Diagramming Sentences – What made this so crappy was how the teacher would be so lively and into these exercises! I definitely wasn’t by myself on this one. The entire class groaned when it was time to diagram sentences. It just seemed so much more complex than it had to be!


Looking back I am definitely grateful for the English teachers I had growing up. They were serious about their job, they loved the students and they made my life miserable!  🙂 All for good purpose though because they taught me to have pride in my writing and the beauty of literature.

What about you? What writing assignments made you cry out in despair?


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Our Uniqueness as Writers

Source: New3Creation photos
Source: New3Creation photos

Everyone has a different voice, but now everyone realizes that for themselves. Some of us are quick to click around on other sites to see how others write and format their blogs. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to do that only ifyou’re trying to develop your own style. During this writing journey, I’m learning more and more about my writing voice I have and the things I can do with it. That’s one way blogging is so beneficial. It exercises the writing muscles as the unique voice develops. Time and time again I’ve seen blogs become successful because the writer chose to be themselves. It may not have happened overnight, but after years of developing and being themselves, an audience that appreciates their voice started to grow and the benefits increased for the writer/blogger. It’s very encouraging to see this happening as I develop my own voice. It helps me to know that I’m on the right track.

Keep Going

Although I’ve seen many writers become successful because of their unique voice, I’ve also seen blogs fail because the writer gave up posting for whatever reason. This is a lot easier said than done, but I’m learning to keep going and discipline myself to be consistent. As a result, it’s become somewhat easier to finish out ideas that were started and to express myself better. Not too long after that, the confidence level starts to grown and I have the guts to start reaching out and networking effectively (yes, there will be a post on that!).

Check Me Out

In addition to my recent guest blog stint, I’ve had other opportunities come my way. It’s very encouraging as far as other outlets coming my way. Not only do I have a lot to say, I have my own unique way of writing about it.

An article of mine was recently posted on P.E.R.K Consulting, an empowerment blog for organizations. It’s a small start, but a big deal for me in my writing journey. I’m also working on another gig that came my way just last week as a contributing writer! Once that’s done, I’ll be sure to post those links as well. Again, not holding back on my own way of writing is what will open doors for me. The same can happen for you, if it hasn’t happened already!


What do you think? Are you a new writer trying to find your own voice? I’d love to hear about your experience as a writer and blogger.

Feel free to share opportunities that have come your way.

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5 Quotes that Helped Reshape My Mind.

Source: Flickr Michael Coglan
Source: Flickr Michael Coglan

I’ve learned a lot since beginning this writing journey. I’ve met some great writers who don’t hesitate to help and I’ve even fallen in love with reading again. With that being said, my reader attention has been heightened, taking more notice of words everywhere I go…they resonate with me in  a fresh new way. Without further ado, here are 5 quotes I’ve heard over the course of my life that have changed me in more ways than one:

“The head is a beautiful mechanism; use it, but don’t be used by it.”Osho, philosopher

When it comes to writing, the mind couldn’t serve as a better tool. That’s where thoughts, ideas and wonderful stories are birthed. But I’ve learned of the strong connection the mind has with the heart. It’s important to have a balance between these two components because on their own, both can get carried away. It’s good to have an imagination, but we have to be grounded at the same time in respect to reality.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” The Bible

This scripture has done a complete change in me not just as a writer, but as a person. Trust me; I am NOT speaking from a religious standpoint, but rather a practical one. So many people spend time trying to be like someone else and don’t take the time to discover who they are. It wasn’t until I was ready to do some self-reflection that this scripture came to life for me. Many things in the mind need to be attacked and uprooted because they’re the cause of many setbacks and sad stories. Changing the way you think will open so many doors for you and reveal the path to your destiny. Okay, I don’t mean to sound like some mythical speaker, but it’s true. J

“If you think the grass is greener on the other side, water your own grass!” – unknown

I read this somewhere, and cracked up laughing – but I don’t remember where I read it! If nothing else has motivated me to work on my craft more, it’s definitely this lovely quote. I don’t know who said it, but it makes perfect sense to me. There’s nothing wrong with admiring other people’s work, but being able to circle back around and use what you’ve observed for your own improvement is the whole point. Besides, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side although it may seem that way.

“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”George Bernard Shaw

Believe it or not, this quote inspired me to begin my writing journey. So many things in other areas of my life have blossomed besides my writing. Once I heard my sister say it to me over the phone one day, it set things in motion for me. I was not going to sit around anymore. Whatever I was dissatisfied with in my life was about to get dealt with. I started cultivating; tending to things I wanted to see happen, and boy, have they started happening! At the same time, I’ve learned that there are questions that won’t ever be answered and things that are beyond my control. So I just work on what I can….I create! Such a perfect tie into writing! There are a few outlets in this world that allow such a powerful event to take place.

“Anything that’s too easy is not good for you.”My ninth grade Earth Science teacher

Don’t asked me what I learned in Earth Science, because I’d be lying if I told you. That darn class was at 2 in the afternoon and I just remember being spent and ready to go home. Plus her classroom was always hot! That just made it even more difficult for my brain to process any information during that time of day.

But I digress.

During class one day we were having an off-topic classroom discussion about life in general. She decided to through some words of wisdom our way and they definitely stuck with me. I’ve come to understand how I must work hard. When I do, not only is it rewarding, but I know that no one can my my way and discredit me or tamper with what I have. Especially since my reward wasn’t handed to me; I worked hard for it and deserve the benefits I’m reaping from it.

Do you have an empowering quote that changed your life? I’d like to hear about it!

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Why Reading Really is Fundamental

Bulldog reading

The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give an understaning of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.”

J.K. Rowling – Author

To be honest, the photo actually prompted me to write this post. It’s usually the other way around – I usually write something up first and find a photo to go along with it…growth and development folks!

Brain harmony
Reading puts your brain to work, which is always a good thing. As writers, this can definitely serve as a benefit to our creativity and ability to articulate. Because your brain is put into so much action when reading, the effect lasts for days afterwards…this is a good thing. It doesn’t pay to have a stagnant brain with no activity. Now, no one has to read a whole library full of novels by the end of the year, taking the time to read some news articles or e-books on an interesting topic can make a world of difference for the brain. Feeding our creativity will help us reach out to our audience more, fueling fresh ideas and boosting writing confidence.

Your vocabulary improves
No one will take a writer seriously if they can’t express themselves properly. No, one doesn’t have to use Ph.D. level terminology in their posts, but they should be able to convey their messages clearly and with the right terms according to their audience. Reading how authors articulate and express their viewpoints can definitely help when it comes to relaying our own views, hence the quote by Rowling. In fact, it can lead to identifying the audience better which ultimately leads to better preparation of material for them. Again, reading helps to fuel growth and creativity. Not just in the mind, but on paper, in conversations….it goes on and on.

What I’m reading now
I have a few things going on at one time, so I’m reading more than one book at a time. One is by philosopher Osho, Emotional Wellness and the other is by L.Y. Marlow, A Life Apart. Marlow’s book is the first novel I’ve read in a long time and I’m excited as to which direction it will take me in my writing.

Need a starting point?
Of course, visit the local book store. Also hunt around for book clubs and take visits to the library. But if you also want to hunt online to get ideas on where to start, check out these links below:

https://www.goodreads.com/ If you’re interested, you can create an account and interact with other readers, get reading discussions and provide book reviews. You can also use this site to promote your work if you’re an author or publisher.

http://whatshouldireadnext.com/ Provides book reviews and is another good site to search for your next read.


Books recommended by librarians around the country. They have monthly reading lists for you to sign up for and discuss.

Read any good books lately? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

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