We had the first meeting of our creative writing group today at the library. Eight teens, evenly split between guys and girls, came and wrote for half an hour. They shared what they wrote, they laughed, they ate cookies, and I think we all had a fantastic time.
They're such good storytellers and I don't think they know it yet. I had them write down their first memory, what age they were at the time and then number their sheet for every year after that. They had to try and remember something from every year.
It was cool to hear what they remember. But also a little bit sad. Some of the memories had to do with divorce, death, fights, broken bones. Other memories were funny, like the teen who remembered using an expletive at age two. They loved that.
They didn't write much down on their papers, only a word or sentence. A few had a short paragraph written for some years but not many did that.
When they started sharing their memories, the storytelling that poured forth from their mouths was incredible. They couldn't just read the word or sentence, they had to tell the story behind it. I pointed that out to them and saw a few looks of amazement on their faces.
It was a great moment.
I wrote down my memories too. However, I had way more than they did. These guys are only 15-17 years old. I did pretty good up until age 30, after I had K. Then I summarized age 30-44 with, "Yelled at my kids." They laughed.