Genius lines from Releasing The Writer Within
Genius lines are the ones that surprise us in a piece of writing that has no intent other than to release some of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and observations. We hear these lines out loud, and they resonant with us all in class—so much so that you will hear gasps, maybe even an “amen” or a “wow!”
When students share their work in my class, I jot down lines that hit me in the heart. I ask my students to do the same when they listen to each other read. We do not critique each other’s writing in Releasing The Writer Within; We celebrate and affirm one another’s work by listening intently and writing in our notebooks the lines that move us. When the reader finishes and we share our responses, it never surprises me that we find our selves reading the same lines. There is a synchronicity in class that is the magic lightning that makes writing so effortless...and always connected.
Sometimes lines will hit me especially hard, and I will ask students to take the line(s) and “jump off” them for a free write for homework. I invite you to try just that with the following lines:
“Wow! 5 minutes of writing? I don’t think I have 5 minutes of thought in me!” –Brenda
“Who do I surrender to?” - Brenda
“Deafening silence. Why is that? Silence shouldn’t be so loud.” –Michelle
“I put up a wall (to block out the pain) so I can focus on the good but every brick blocks me from feeling.” –Michelle
“I try to sit and feel okay with the pain. Put that behind me and focus on the good.” –Michelle
“Sometimes I go fast, and I am only that.” – Keri
“I hate the wasteful creature comforts we think we need. I want to be brave enough to live simply and quietly until I feel I can’t do it any more, but then get past that feeling to keep doing it, nonetheless.” - Keri
“Each thing I take away gets me closer to what I can’t remove.”
“I have a lot of people where only I should be.” - Keri
“I’m a ticking time bomb just waiting anxiously to explode.” –A.J.
“Breathing, tripping, bleeding, living. Being in control requires all of these.” –A.J.
“I create my own pain and then I go down with it.” -A.J.
“Children are a fabulous excuse for missed careers.” - Kirsten
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