Is Your Piece of Writing a “Waste of Time”?

by Carol Park, Age 16, Canada


A former English teacher once told my class—and I quote, “I don’t want to read your short story or essay if it doesn’t answer my “so what?” question. If it doesn’t give me a reason to care about your piece, don’t bother handing it in. It’ll only be a waste of my time.”

My classmates and I were offended by her statement.

Looking back, everything that she had said was for our benefit.

Behind every story or article there must be either an underlying message or theme. With neither, there would be no point in reading anything. After anything and everything that you read, you must be able to ask and answer the following questions: “What was this about? What was the writer trying to tell me?”

So what is the purpose of writing? Well, it’s simple. You, as a writer must be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas to most—if not all—of your readers. Ideally, the reader should be able to leave your piece and understand the meaning or message behind whatever it was that you wrote.

Even though writing a story or article should be fun and entertaining for you, it should also impact the reader in some way—positively or not. Have fun with the topics that you write but always keep in mind that your readers must be able to connect with the piece—emotionally or academically.


Carol Park is a 16 year old Canadian writer. Carol says,  “My dream is to study British literature at McGill University and to become a professor. I adore reading about the English royalty and their impact on England: especially the Tudors. I spend a lot of my time writing short stories and narrative essays.” 



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