The Expectations by Ari Nystrom Rice

As a creative writing freshpeep I had certain expectations when coming into the program. I expected us to be doing simple pieces, writing what we wanted to write and getting feedback on our work. Once creative writing began, my expectations were blown away, and replaced with community weeks and our wonderful fairy tale unit. Instead of writing whatever we wanted we wrote specific reflections on readings, and learned serious narrative grammar. The roof had been raised, and I was rushing to fill the new space created by the greater expectations. Then, the fiction unit came. In the fiction unit we started with a small project of using a one sentence short story in a one page story of our own creation. We had no restrictions in how we wanted to write our story, just that it needed to be written. Suddenly the expectations of my eighth grade self came rushing back. The unlimited creativity we were given made me appreciate the guidance we had in our other units, while also enjoying the newfound freedom. I found that when I wrote my assignment I focused more on the concept of what I was writing rather than the writing itself, it allowed me to indulge in my creativity more than other assignments did. On the other hand, when I was writing my fairy tale I focused more on how to give it the distinct fairy tale style, making me create a more professional creative piece.

When we brought our pieces into class and presented them, I saw how different our takes on the assignment were, from writing a monologue like me to playing with the perspective of the story, there were a variety of takes on the project. Although our informational pieces are held to a different standard and set of expectations there were still “No right answers.” I learned that we all had different takes on whatever readings we did, demonstrating that our individual personalities and quirks define our writing no matter the expectations.

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