Yesterday I spoke to at a group of middle school students at a Young Authors’ Forum. They were eager to hear and discuss the many aspects of writing, at least as many as could be covered quickly in an hour. They were in their classroom in an environment in which they trusted one another and myself to validate and respect their very personal feelings regarding their desire to write.

Their energy, passion, and an undefinable sense of truly believing that expressing oneself “on paper” is just something that some of us must do. They were inspiring. I found myself wanting to be in their presence every day.

I told them how important it was, as writers, that we have two or three people who know us well, who we trust will be honest and give us kind, constructive criticism of our work. Some had one person, many had none.

At the end of the session, they asked if I would be someone whom they could give their writing to for feedback and comment. And so this week, I am putting “on paper” my commitment to follow-up with these young writers.

How beautiful our young people are. How important that we keep these precious lives secure and uphold their trust as sacred.

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