Who Are You?

And where are you going?

Those two questions guided our writing in the third week of our “What If” journey as my first year writing students and the Just Write Virtual Writing Group continued the exploration of our personal values as part of the Morehead Writing Project‘s Building A More Perfect Union grant, Root Deep, Grow Tall. This final unit draws inspiration from Marvel’s What If animated series (and the butterfly effect), the #WalkMyWorld Project, and the National Writing Project’s American Creed (and personal values). This low-stakes personal writing journey offers my first year writers the opportunity to write out and through what is weighing on their hearts and minds while also exploring a variety of modes of writing and learning new rhetorical skills. It is my favorite thing and offers rich terrain for writing.

This week we drew much inspiration from Disney’s Encanto beginning with writing about our gifts and what makes us special and unique. We also explored the pressures we face, the struggles going on beneath our surface, and the worries that wear on us drip drip drip. Writing about our secrets and the prophecies holding us back and weighing us down also provided some terrific writing inspiration. We continued to explore the weight of expectations and what we would do without the pressure to be perfect. We completed our Encanto journey with these questions:

  • What is the miracle of you?
  • What do you wish people would see when they look at you?
  • What do you see?
  • How do you shine?

We also used Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford to explore our truths and Calling Dreams by Georgia Douglas Johnson to write about what we demand of life as well as this quote:

“i hope i die


by the life i tried 

to live”

Nikki Giovanni

While this exploration is crafted with young writers in mind we can all benefit from contemplating the future we are fighting for and the truth we want to live.

Image by Mario Aranda from Pixabay