The last essay, her sixth, was a hard one—she had already written 5 articles in 6 weeks and was pooped. Full-up with words, and all out of words, at the same time. She's only 9 after all—5 essays is a lot of work for a kid!
But we talked about it, and talked some more. Was it worth sticking it out to finish what she'd set out to do? This was the last week and it was only one more essay. We talked about commitments and obligations. Could she do it? If she wanted, she had the choice to write to them and pull out a week early. She did want to, but she didn't at the same time. There were long talks, hours spent researching the final essay and some writing…then more long talks, more researching, and tears. It was so tough, but she was so close.
So she stuck it out.
On Sunday morning (this being the third weekend in a row spent writing articles!) she finished her draft. She was 150 words short. I sat with her and gave her feedback. I asked questions and showed her areas that could use more detail. We looked at sources together. We sat so close on the couch, just two writer girls, working. And at lunchtime…she was done. Done! Wow. She wrote her last email, attached the article, and sent it off.
We high-fived, and we hugged, and I thought, "How cool is this kid?" The work was as hard as high school, maybe even university. To meet a deadline every week for seven weeks but one—that's a pretty big deal for anyone. And she wrote her butt off, every single time. Worked so hard, learned so much, was so focussed, and she persevered to the end. What an amazing girl. What an inspirational human bean.
Here are my girl's articles. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do!
(All photos are courtesy of Youngzine. I really, really like this magazine. It's wonderful, and an awesome resource. Not only are the editors kind, generous and helpful, but at the magazine's heart is the education and empowerment of kids. All of my favourite things!)