Posted in Life, Writing

My First Spark For Writing

*I originally posted this in 2018, but after coming across it recently, it brought back some really good memories.  I thought I would share those memories with you.  I hope you enjoy. 🙂 

I was trying to think back to when the first real spark for writing happened to me.  In my teens, I would write those, love-sick, heart-wrenching poems to that boy that would never read it.  I never wanted anyone to see what I was writing because it was my deepest, love-sick secrets.  I also dabbled at keeping a diary at different times as a child, but I never stuck with it for very long.

Then in 7th grade, Junior High, I met my English Teacher, Miss Stiff.

Miss Stiff looked Very Much as her name implied.  She was the stuffy, prim and proper school teacher.  She kept her hair up in a tight severe bun and wore dresses well below her knees.  She ruled her classes with an iron fist and took no guff from anyone.

I didn’t like school very much, especially as a teenager.  I was much more concerned with boys and partying.  But I did well in English.  I had always had a love of reading (thank you Mom) so studying English came easily for me.

I had a couple of advantages in Miss Stiff’s class.  I did well, studied, paid attention and got good grades.  Because of this, Miss Stiff looked favorably upon me.  I guess I was a bit of a Teacher’s Pet.  Most of the kids didn’t like Miss Stiff because she was so strict.  But I got along just fine with her.

Miss Stiff had a way of sparking my imagination like no one else ever had.  In addition to just teaching English, Miss Stiff would give us assignments that allowed our imaginations to run wild!  She would give us prompts for story writing and then just let us have fun with those prompts.  She would do things like write two or three unrelated words on the blackboard and have us write a story using those words.  For example:  she might write, “fish, trashcan & toothbrush”.

I may not have had the best story in class, but there was no one in class that went at it with as much enthusiasm and abandon as I did.  I LOVED it when I was given free rein to write whatever I wanted!

Looking back, I was 14 or 15 years old.  It would take me approximately another 40 years before I found that I really had a passion for writing.  I wish I would have paid more attention to that inner spark.

I have no idea what ever happened to Miss Stiff.  I wasn’t the type of kid that stayed in touch with my teachers.  I hope that Miss Stiff can look down on me and know what a wonderful, positive influence she had on my life.  Thank heavens for teachers like Miss Stiff.

© 2018 Penny Wilson 


Penny Wilson is an international writer who writes in several genres. She has written articles for WOW Women on Writing. Her poetry has been published in online journals, such as Ariel Chart, Spill Words Press and the Poppy Road Review. Penny is a member of the Austin Poetry Society. Her poetry has been featured in the publication America's Emerging Poets 2018 & 2019 by Z Publishing and Poets Quarterly and Dual Coast Magazine published by Prolific Press. Penny is an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and has the page "Mental Health Help" on her blog. She writes about the struggles of mental illnesses and Depression. She is passionate about spreading awareness for Suicide Prevention and Domestic Abuse. She expresses her passion through her writings of poetry and life experiences. You can find more of her writings on her blog at and follow her on Twitter @pennywilson123.

12 thoughts on “My First Spark For Writing

  1. Thank you for your story. Sharing is caring. I know that some teachers are strict. Tha’s why their students are brilliant. I have a teacher like her. His name is Mr. Bobur


  2. I’m thankful you unleashed your love of writing, even if decades later. What a wonderful tribute to your teacher, Miss Stiff. My favorite English teacher was Mrs. Sales and Miss Stiff sounds a bit like her.


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