Thursday, September 22, 2011
I was a high school Junior when I took his Creative Writing course. I had self-confidence, a great imagination, and a desire to please. My writing skills were stronger than those of his other students. I had already been assured of this by my previous instructor. I didn't groan when he assigned 1,000 words on the importance of adjectives. I jumped at the challenge of finding 50 words to describe ice. Five page papers were like junk food to me - sought after and savored.
I was a high school Junior when he threw my paper towards me in front of the rest of the class and announced "you aren't the literary goddess you think you are" for everyone to hear. My self-confidence faded, my imagination revolved around revenge, and I quit trying to please him - or myself. Those skills that had once tempted my pen became utilized only for academic work. I toiled with determination to explain the effect that research participant self-selection has on data interpretation. I worked for months trying to capture the different impacts that race and gender had when expressing sexual orientation. Term papers, outlines, article reviews, and theory exercises were like basic nutrition - required to grow a healthy mind.
Today I am no longer a Junior in high school. College is behind me. Years spent explaining math to young minds is a recent memory. I have improved self-confidence, a mind that can image a better future, and a desire to please myself. Those writing skills have been dusted off. Friends assure me that I am ready. I eagerly anticipate the challenge of translating character qualities into actions. I am enthused about the prospect of pushing these characters to their emotional limits. This novel is like the perfect dessert - prepared, anticipated, and devoured.
I was not a "Literary Goddess."
The thing is - I never thought I was.
I wanted to be. Writing was my aspiration, my passion.
THEN: His horrible words, that hateful comment, served to dissuade me from writing.
NOW: His ill-conceived criticism, his thoughtless comment, serve as a reminder.
The first step in earning the status of "Literary Goddess?"
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