When teachers wish to nurture expressiveness in young people, they (the teachers) should make a point of sharing with the kiddeos selections from writers’ notebooks. These show the beginner that a master’s seedlings don’t look that different from her own. Then teach the beginner to keep such a notebook! Excellent phrases overheard, witty lists, ideas for stories…. The front side of one sheet of paper might be enough to undo the damage of having heard that you either got it or you don’t.
This brought back a childhood memory:
N., a teacher, on her way home in the evening was told by her friend that X. had fallen in love with her, N., and wanted to propose. N., ungainly, who had never before thought of marriage, when she got home, sat for a long time trembling with fear, could not sleep, cried, and towards morning fell in love with X.; next day she heard that the whole thing was a supposition on the part of her friend and that X. was going to marry not her but Y.