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Your classmates file out of the Creative Writing class, but you remain behind, hesitant to put away the poem that now feels two times heavier with blue pen. The peer review session has left you in utter frustration. “Might as well start over,” you brood with a sigh and step toward the door.

student in class
She sees beauty in the mess and chaos”
Dr. Jordan’s gentle voice gives you pause.
She seems to have read your mind, for her words are a direct counter to your new plan: “Writing is messy. It’s beautiful that way.” Directing her gaze to the draft colorfully overlaid with revision, she gestures for her review.
You Watch Her Scan Deliberately And Scrawl a Few Words.
She looks up cheerfully with a persistent wave of the poem, handing it back to you, and with it, a hint of positivity. As you pack up, she reminds once more that your drafted thoughts and instruments of ink form a mosaic of words that are, even now, rich and wonderful. You return to a poem made lighter and yet deeper by inked words of praise, leaving with a revived anticipation to create your final piece – not on a blank page, but on one with pen-stained promise.
Writing is messy. Thinking is messy. If we stop at the first draft — or at our first thought — we lose our chances for exploration and growth.”
— Dr. Kerri Jordan
Photo of Dr. Kerri Jordan

Student Perspectives are anonymous submissions from students within the English Department.

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