I’m not sure what the content was. Were we using vocabulary words in context? Demonstrating our ability to label subject and predicate?
Whatever it was, my mom leaned over my shoulder as I worked on it, yellow pencil clutched in my young hand. She made a suggestion: why don’t you try to start each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet?
She was not one to interfere too much with my homework, usually trusting me to do well. On that day, with that idea, offered casually, she opened up writing for me.
Her remark contained everything I needed: discipline, creativity, variety, craft. And now when I write, I remember that, and try to follow this advice in letter and in spirit.
Perhaps most importantly, it keeps me from starting each sentence with “I”, though I’m just as self-centered as anyone else and would like to keep the world spinning comfortably around me. When I tempted to turn my writing into a litany of “I”s, I remember my mother’s suggestion and remind myself that I can do better.
Is there any advice you hold close in your heart while you are writing?