www.whyville.net Jul 27, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Writing a Sob Story

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How to start out this article? It's been awhile since I wrote an article with my opinion about something involved. I'm typing this instead of writing it, trying to see if there's hope for me on the keyboard AND on the paper. Yes, my liquid black pen is sitting on the desk, looking at me like I'm crazy. I often find myself lost because there are no lines. It's just an empty, blank email with no lines. Just black and white. No wrinkles, no smudges. It's too perfect.

I hate sob stories. HATE them. Writing stories and articles takes work. You set your mind to it and you go and you find yourself writing things you would never say out loud. But with sob stories, there is no real meaning. In my class for essays on personal experiences I wrote about the time I was the main character in my church's musical and how that effected my life and confidence on acting and singing. I got a B+. There was "no emotion." Nothing "real" about it. No message behind it. But half the kids in my class wrote about their dying dog or their uncle who had throat cancer. They all got A's. Because their story somehow meant more than mine did.

Nothing really dramatic or sad or depressing has happened in my life. The worst thing probably was when my grandpa died when I was 5 and I hardly remember that at all. My family's healthy, all of our organs intact. None of us are struggling with asthma or some rare skin disease that turns your tongue blue. So, if I don't write about something that was negative but created an impact on my life I'm going to fail when it comes to personal essays?

Totally unfair.

I'm not saying that writing about things like that is a bad thing. But many sob stories whine on and on about their life and how they've had to struggle with the pain. And they end it with a "I appreciate life more." How? Why? Because your cousin fell off a bridge and almost died because of a coma? I understand how painful life can be but when you write about it, do something more. Too many stories are alike. "My dog almost died of cancer." Sure, things may seem alike but make your story DIFFERENT! Everyone's story is unique in a different way.

My head's on the edge of the computer desk. I KNEW I should've written this on paper. But you're just going to have to deal with the fact that I'm too lazy to get up and rewrite this. So my babblings and typos may seem a bit mean and have no point.

If I write about something happy my life means less because I've never had to struggle with a dying relative or watch my cat get run over by the neighbor's lawn mower. Many of the people who write those personal essays say they live life to the fullest and appreciate life more. No, they DON'T.

Half the kids in that class when they finished sat down and made fun of my pink jacket that didn't fit right. They made fun of my story. They pointed out my B+. That's NOT living life to the fullest! Such lies they tell! I may not have had anything depressing happen in my life but at least I don't go pointing out things wrong with other people.



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