My Struggle

January 18, 2013
Everyone has something they excel in. Whether it’s sports, music, art, school, the list of possibilities goes on and on. But I’ve never had anything that makes people think wow, I wish I could do that. But I have had writing. It’s the one thing I really love doing and actually do an okay good job at. I’ve always felt pretty comfortable with a pencil in hand and the feeling of completely draining my mind onto paper.
So when I walked into advanced composition hybrid for the first time, that eager feeling to just get started, filled every writing-related fiber in me. At first I thought to myself, finally, a class where I don’t feel completely out of place. But that feeling was shattered sooner than I could ever imagine.

I came into my first small group meeting with my paper in my hand. I felt pretty confident about my piece. I had that typical and unexplainable excitement I get when I’m proud of my writing. The way the words would flow made me excited to read them aloud and have that feeling of, I wrote this. It’s a rather giddy feeling, really. But it only takes seconds and just a few red marks to crush that confidence I prior had. I walked in feeling great about my writing and walked out feeling ashamed. This was the beginning of my struggle.

I experienced the worst writers block and felt my inspiration leave me. Small group meeting after small group meeting, I felt my confidence as a writer whither down to nothing. I no longer came in excited about what I created, but rather dreading just the idea of sharing my papers.
I’ve always written by myself...and for myself. I suppose writing has become my personal source of therapy. So when I had to open up my writing for others, it was hard. I have a particular way of writing. And by that I mean, I write what I think, in a way that I think sounds pretty. So when some of my favorite and most labored over sentences, ended up just being a melting pot of a bunch of cliches and dead words. It was as if something died inside me. That may sound a tad dramatic. But in all sincerity, when I write something, I tend to get attached to it. It took me awhile to get used to some of the changes I was to bestow. When writing became an assignment, rather than my self-proclaimed escape, I felt deprived of my creativity?even though that’s what we were supposed to be thriving on.

It took me awhile to understand that the constructive criticism was truly doing something for me, not just to me. I finally was able to get past that hurdle and the fact that it changed the way I wrote in my papers, stood as evidence of that. My writer’s block and difficulty finding my inspiration, were growing pains of maturing. It wasn’t a comfortable or familiar feeling, but that uncomfortable and unfamiliar feeling was shaping me into a better writer.

I’m a stubborn writer. This class has made me realize that, more than anything. But this class has also taught me other valuable truths about writing. Truths I will carry on into my future pieces. It was hard for me at times, but in the long run, it helped me grow as a writer.

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