My son supposedly writes a story every day. We didn’t start this way. We started when he was supposed to write essays to practice for the European AP history test and instead, he wrote essays about how the topic is inherently racist and imperialist and we probably need another French Revolution.
“This will get a very bad score. Save it for a creative writing class,” I told him.
Now we do creative writing.
I told him he can’t just rant.
He told me, “You always tell your writing class there are no rules.”
I give him Howl by Alan Ginsberg and say, “If your rant is this good then you can just rant.” And later, more rules: “No meandering pages that have no point. Readers like stories.”
His stories became more and more about violin and Spanish. That progress is slow or it’s useless. Or that the only thing he’ll ever do in life is violin and Spanish. Or that he’s terrible.