A/N: This story just explains how I began my interest in writing.
I put this post on hold for awhile to gather my thoughts. It’s been a long time since I last thought about how I held an interest in writing. I can’t pinpoint the exact time my relationship with writing started, it sort of just happened. The thing is, writing for me was like falling in love. No, not at first sight. I mean the real raw, heart wrenching, emotional roller coaster, messy kind. The kind that doesn’t make the cut in a romantic comedy story-line. The kind that takes time, patience, and a whole lot of doubt.
When I was younger, I liked writing projects that involved poems and stuff. They weren’t anything remarkable or striking. It’s just writing assignments never bore me as a kid. Which itself was something special, considering it was me. School in general didn’t interest me. I spent most of my time daydreaming (go figure, haha!). That’s pretty much all the writing I did as a kid though. I wasn’t the kid constantly writing. As I said, I just liked writing. I didn’t have any dream or ambition. In fact, my writing was never recognized as a kid. Nobody praised me for it, and my teachers never asked to share my work to the class.
My interest grew more sometime in middle school. I think it started somewhere with my seventh grade English teacher. She always gave creative writing assignments and I would have the most fun when I would work on these assignments. There was one assignment in particular that I will never forget. We had to write a poem and create a visual aid with the poem. Mine was a poem about a man eating pump. Haha, that was a favorite of mine. Quick summary, this poem talks about a high heeled shoe that would eat your cheating ex boyfriend. What I loved most was I made a big paper mache sculpture of a purple pump with stickers and googly eyes. Again, my teacher never gave me praise, but it didn’t matter to me. I was so proud of that project and I kept it in my basement for a long time.
(…Which when you think about it, I think I unknowingly learned something valuable about writing. Writing in general shouldn’t be to simply please others.Anyways, back to the story!)
Even though I began to have more fun writing in middle school, I didn’t have complete confidence with writing. For the most part, a lot of my writing was criticized heavily. I went to a school that was very strict with it’s teachings, so basically, in order to be a favorite, you had to follow the rules and be perfect. To put it simply, all of my assignments were covered in red marks. It took years for me to learn how to write a simple paragraph. My eighth grade teacher in particular gave me really poor marks on my papers.I’m not going to play a victim in this part of my story. I’m sure my writing was atrocious so I know I deserved the grades I got. Nevertheless, it didn’t completely destroy my interest in writing. In fact, I had a drive to get better. Each new paper I got, I challenged myself to minimize the number of marks on my next paper. As I said before, I still had a lot of low self esteem. I didn’t believe I would ever be a good enough writer.
My confidence in writing didn’t shine until my Freshman year of high school. I will never forget my freshman English teacher. I was her Padawan and she was my Obi-Wan Kenobi, mentoring me to understand the power a writer holds. I thought she was the coolest person ever and I looked up to her. (For the record, she is the coolest person ever) Her philosophy of writing was something I never heard before. She believed that writing should be free. There are no rules to writing and she encouraged everyone to write what’s on their mind, even if it seems silly. So that’s what I did. I wrote what I felt and one project after the other, I poured my heart into all of these papers.
This is where my relationship for writing completely changed. For the first time in my life, my writing was recognized. Somebody actually acknowledged my writing to the whole class. I remember that day as clear as ever. My teacher passes out our assignments and I realized I didn’t get it back. I wondered if there was a mistake and was preparing myself to ask her after she finishes when all of a sudden, she gets the class’ attention. She read my short story in front of everyone. (I’m a bit choked up as I’m writing this) I don’t think she ever knew how important that was to me. I never got that sort of attention before. Maybe I sound petty, but what she did made me so happy. The closest praise I got was from my mom, but she was my mom. Anything I did amazed her. She would praise me if I blew my nose and sung the national anthem at the same time.
My teacher gave me something I have always wanted in my life. I wanted someone to believe in me. I didn’t want to be continuously praised or perfect for that matter. I wanted that one teacher to look at me and tell me that they believe I can be someone I am proud to be. She taught me that I don’t have to be the star pupil to write. It doesn’t take someone as wise as Socrates to make something inspiring and it’s okay if you aren’t the worlds best writer. A good writer, is someone who can see the world and make something out of it. Writers let themselves be vulnerable, show the world their souls and prepare for the worst. Not because they want to be well liked or incredibly famous for it. Writers write because talking isn’t enough.
Anyway, that’s most of my story. Since then, I worked at my writing little by little. I met a lot more wonderful English teachers along the way who encouraged and supported me, but nobody could ever compare to the impression my teacher made. I wish I could say that we became great friends afterwords, but the truth is I never saw my teacher again. She left at the end of the year. I think she moved away, somewhere out of state and I’m pretty sure I will never see her again. Now that I think about it, I sort of wish that one day my teacher reads this (though highly unlikely). Even if she will never know it was about her.